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Saturday, April 19

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Opposite of Ice Hockey

The Chicago Underwater Hockey Club takes the sport to new depths.

Running Out of Room

Crain's takes a look at whether there are too many 5Ks and other races in Chicago. Jim Crago just wrote about another new one in Tailgate.

Competitive Disadvantage?

Because what every triathlete wants is a heavy bike designed for cruising, the Chicago Triathlon is allowing 100 contestants to use Divvy bikes in the cycling portion of its SuperSprint race.

Putting Up a "For Sale" Sign

The Cubs are considering selling minority ownership shares of the team in order to help pay for Wrigley's renovation.

CTA Trolls Cubs Fans

Yesterday the CTA sent out a notice warning that the Addison Red Line stop would be closed northbound for repairs today, just in time for the Cubs' home opener. Fortunately, it was just a "clerical error" -- the station will be open from 10:50am to 2:45pm.

Sledge Men

Meet one Chicago (RIC) Blackhawk who didn't let injury keep him off the ice - even after he was paralyzed from the waist down.

Replay Pioneers

The Cubs were the first team to use new, expanded instant replay powers in Major League Baseball during a regular season game against the Pirates on Monday, challenging a call that Jeff Samardzija was out on first base; the out was confirmed.

United States of X: Opening Day Edition

Based on an all-or-nothing analysis of Facebook likes by county, the White Sox own Cook, Will, Kankakee and Lake County in Indiana, and the Cubs own the rest of the region.

Hawks Take Another Hit

With the end of the regular season less than two weeks away, Jonathan Toews was injured during the Blackhawks 4-1 loss to the Penguins.

Lots of Dick (Allen) Pics

The White Sox will be connecting with fans via Snapchat this season -- follow "whitesox." (Hopefully this is the only dick pic they send anyone.)

The Players, United

The National Labor Relations Board ruled Northwestern University football players are employees of the school, and as such are entitled to a union election.

Let's Play Too Late

While Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947, the Cubs waited until 1953 to get with the times -- and it may have been the reason for the team's long decline, writes the Reader's Steve Bogira.

Disco Demolition Documentation

Diane Alexander White brought her camera to Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979 for Disco Demolition Night, and captured the crowd on film. (Thanks, Dee!)

Black and Blues

While the Blackhawks dominated the Blues 4-0, star Patrick Kane left the game with a left knee injury that could leave him on the bench for the next three weeks.

Bleed Cubbie Blue

Twelve die-hard Cubs fans can get a free tattoo commemorating the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, courtesy of the Central Lakeview Merchants Association. (They're also offering free laser tattoo removal for up to 12 Sox fans.)

For the Win

Orr Academy High School's Tyquone Greer hit a game-winning 3-point shot nine days after he was shot in the leg while attending a neighborhood party on the West Side.

Actually Ride the Length of the Lakefront Trail

Construction of the much-needed Navy Pier Flyover will start next week. While the lakefront trail is supposed to remain open throughout construction, check out the detours and closures page for updates.

On Each Other's Team

Lorde, who's in town for a show at the Aragon tonight, live-tweeted the Bulls game last night ...sort of.

Get Ready, Wrigleyville

At least some of the Wrigley Field renovations will begin this year, Ald. Tom Tunney told neighborhood residents this week.

Over the Top

So long a sideshow, the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers gets featured event attention in the Reader.

There's no Greying in Baseball

Paul Konerko celebrated his 38th birthday last week. He's part of a shrinking group in baseball: players born in the 1970s.

No Return for Hester

Explosive return man Devin Hester will not be re-signed by the Bears for next season.

Not That Again

Martin Sorrell, CEO of global ad agency WPP Group, suggests that Chicago should bid for the 2024 Olympics. Can we all agree that this is still a bad idea?

Stadium Man

The Chicago Park District and Mayor Emanuel are considering adding 5,000 seats to Soldier Field to support a potential Super Bowl bid and make room for other revenue-generating events.

Hometown Hero Hype

While the "Second City Saint," WWE wrestler CM Punk, allegedly walked away from the sport of professional wrestling, speculation is swirling over whether he will return to the ring when Monday Night Raw comes to his hometown of Chicago.

Are You a Pinball Wizard?

Pinball Chicago League is looking for teams of six to 10 players for its inaugural season, which starts March 24.

Sporting Some History

Just in time for the end of Black History Month, Homage just released a new line of Negro League sportswear, including a shirt and hat from the Chicago American Giants.

Rolling Out the Law

By day, Jaclyn Stacy is director of external relations for the Legal Assistance Foundation. By night and weekend, she's Anihilist Nin of the Fury roller derby team.

Stop'n Y'all

Goalie Sean Johnson strapped on a GoPro camera to give fans a firsthand view of a Chicago Fire practice. [via]

Motivational Bias

The Chicago Sun-Times dropped freelance sports writer Clyde Travis after it was revealed he entered the locker room and admonished Curie-Hyde Park High School basketball players for their poor play after he covered their game.

Championship Ice

Everyone's eyes are on Olympic hockey in Sochi right now, but ChicagoSide's Adam Hainsfurther argues the best hockey game of the year will be next weekend's NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field, pitting the Blackhawks vs. the Penguins.

Sochi Scavenger Hunt

USA speed skater Brian Hansen is on a mission to get his photo taken with all 10 Chicago Blackhawks representing their countries at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Noah Worries

Bleacher Report says Joakim Noah is untouchable when it comes to players the Bulls might consider trading.

The SnowBrawl is On

Do312, RedEye and Chicagoist are holding a snowball fight tonight at 8pm! Meet at the fieldhouse in Wicker Park.

Forever Alone at Sochi

Photographer Christopher Hiltz did a little photoshoppery to see what it'd look like if Olympic figure skating pairs lost one of the partners.

DePaul's Top Basketball Player No Longer Enrolled

The men's basketball team had hopes of a comeback with star player Cleveland Melvin on the team until his career came to an abrupt halt on Monday. The player is no longer enrolled at DePaul and is suspended indefinitely for violating an unspecified team rule. (Related.)

The Zen of Football

The Bears hired a martial arts instructor to help improve their blocking techniques.

More Rest for Rose

Derrick Rose will probably not practice with the Chicago Bulls this season, taking more time off in order to recover from a torn meniscus.

"You're the Swede-ist"

The Blackhawks put together some special Valentines Day cards for hockey fans.

Chicago is Going to Sochi

Figure skaters Gracie Gold and Jason Brown, speed skater Shani Davis and many others are representing Chicag- er, the United States at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Baller, Shot Caller

The Bulls' Joakim Noah was fined $15,000 for losing his cool at referees in Monday night's game.

Keep the audio low on this one.

Keepers of the Cup

The Blackhawks are favored to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions, which would make them the first team to do so since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997.

Soccer at Soldier Field

The International Champions Cup announced possible locations for this year's soccer tournament, and Chicago is on that list. World Soccer Talk released its tentative schedule with Liverpool to play Greece's Olympiacos on July 26 at Soldier Field.

The Next Super Bowl is Galactic

And it'll feature the Monsters of the Midway: the Hoth Wampas.

Sweetness Awarded

Bears cornerback Charles Tillman received the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award from the NFL for his charity work supporting chronically ill children and his performance on the field.

Shufflin' into Court

Six members of the 1985 Bears have filed a lawsuit against the current owners of the "Super Bowl Shuffle," claiming that rights to use their likenesses didn't transfer when the song and video were purchased.

If You Can't Get Chicago to the Super Bowl...

With the Super Bowl being held in New York this year, RedEye asks if it could ever make its way to Chicago. It's possible, although critics- includking Ditka himself- say it's way too cold here in the winter.

Can't Get a Rise Out of the Top

When Joel Reese heckled the Blackhawks at a home game he expected to get jeered out of the United Center, but all he found was a stadium filled with (mostly) gracious hosts.

Watch the Game with the Boys

Crew in Uptown is one of the best gay bars in the country at which to watch the Super Bowl, according to NewNowNext. (Thanks, Dee!)

The Players, United

Quarterback Kain Colter and other members of the Northwestern football team are asking to be represented by a labor union, making them the first players in the history of college sports to do so, according to ESPN.

Like a Hard Rock for Chicago Sports

A Chicago Sports Museum planned for Water Tower Place will combine exhibits on local sports history with a restaurant and shopping areas.

Champions of Cuteness

Taser and Sharpie, two Italian Greyhound puppies from a Chicago-based rescue organization, are stepping into the arena for this year's Puppy Bowl.

Off the Table

Negotiations between the Cubs and the owners of rooftop clubs that would be impacted by proposed renovations of Wrigley Field have officially broken down and will be settled in court.

Illinois Republicans Kill Bears Superbowl Chances

A sad day for football fans in Chicago. All four of the Republican candidates for governor said they don't support fully legalizing marijuana in Illinois. The "420 Bowl" disagrees.

Bocce in Streeterville

Pinstripes, a suburban bowling and bocce chain, is moving into River East Plaza -- practically across the street from Lucky Strike. (I'm more excited about the year 'round bocce, personally.)

Rose Back on the Bus

Able to get around without crutches, an injured Derrick Rose is back to traveling with the Bulls.

Meme Spirited

The Cubs are not entertained by the harsh, sometimes perverse treatment their new mascot Clark the Cub is getting at the hands of photoshoppers across the Internet.

Hipsters of the Midway

Sports blog Kissing Suzy Kolber reimagines NFL logos as hipsters. Sweet bowtie, Bears.

hipster Bears logo

Oar-iginal Design

The new WMS Boathouse designed by Studio Gang was inspired by the sport of rowing it houses. [via]

Cubs Unveil Mascot, Internet Flips Out

The Cubs unveiled their new mascot, Clark the Cub today, and the Internet went nuts. Among the people chiming in was Deadspin editor and Chicagoan Tim Marchman, who calls Clark "a nightmarish, perverted furry."

NU Makes It Work

Northwestern University's basketball team is sporting (temporary) new uniforms that the players helped design themselves, including images of the John Hancock Center building, a heart-shaped basketball, and Bulls-inspired pin striping.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Great Leader

The odd love affair between former Bulls star Dennis Rodman and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un continues, with The Worm singing happy birthday to the head of the hermit kingdom and playing a game with a team of retired American players as a present.

Rodman later apologized, saying he was drunk.

The Big Hurt Makes History

White Sox slugger Frank Thomas was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving approval from 83.7 percent of voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Hawks Go for Gold

Ten Blackhawks will be representing their home countries at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, although only Patrick Kane will be putting on the red, white, and blue for Team USA.

Catching Fire

Two Chicago Fire players, league MVP Mike Magee and goalie Sean Johnson, have been invited to join the training camp which determines who plays on the U.S. national team.

Double Down, Chicago Bears

The Bears signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a seven-year deal for an undisclosed amount of money.

Conte Catch a Break

Bears fans directing their ire at safety Chris Conte for failing to prevent Green Bay's game-ending touchdown Sunday night tweeted their insults to @ChrisConte -- which is actually the account of Nashville TV reporter Chris Conte.

Financial Fitness

Ms.Fit magazine, a "body-positive, LGBTQ-friendly, unapologetically feminist women's health and fitness webzine," is just shy of making its fundraising goal to continue publishing in 2014. Pitch in here.

Bears Lose, Ditka Snoozed

As the Bears failed to make it to the playoffs, former coach Mike Ditka dozed off on "Sunday NFL Countdown."

Get Your Graters Ready

The Bears must win this Sunday to move on to the playoffs, and Chicago fans are getting ready to razz their rivals with anti-Cheesehead grater heads.

Bear Down and Network

The RedEye found the LinkedIn profiles of former Bears quarterbacks looking to advance their post-NFL careers.

Why Did That Happen?

On Wednesday night, Kanye West sang a song apparently titled "We should've never ever let Michael Jordan play for the Wizards." Bret Wallin transcribed it for you.

Help Them Roll Again

Four Windy City Rollers were injured in a car accident last weekend. Fans are encouraged to pitch in to help defray medical bills for Senorita Slam, Janicide Joplin, Baberaham Lincoln and Moby Nipps.

Office Ollies

Red Bull turned the vacant 23rd floor of an unnamed local high rise into an office- and then let pro skateboarders loose in it for a skate video with extra high "stoke factor." [via]

A Dome on the North Side

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club plans to convert a vacant factory at Talman and Addison into a two-field indoor soccer dome.

Rolling on Broadway

The Windy City Rollers open their home season Saturday in an usual spot: the Broadway Armory, which in fact started life in 1916 as an indoor ice skating rink. Capacity is only 875, so get there early.

Staying United

The United Center will keep its name for the next 20 years, after the Bulls, Blackhawks, arena, and United Airlines reached an agreement for an undisclosed amount.

Dribbling Chicago

Harlem Globetrotter Dizzy Grant showcases his ball handling skills across Chicago in a new video. [via]

GB Gift Guide: Fitness Boxing Classes

New Year's resolutions are right around the corner, which means putting up with listening to your friends ask themselves repeatedly which gym they should join. Give them the gift of punching power this holiday season with a membership at the Franklin Street Boxing Club. If anything, after six to eight weeks, they'll get your back in a barroom brawl.

Behind the Black Unicorn

ESPN's Rick Reilly calls cartoonist, fashion designer, and Bears tight end Martellus Bennett, "the most interesting man in the NFL."

Love at Center Court

A man emerged from a Benny the Bull costume and proposed to one of the Luvabull dancers during last week's Bulls-Heat game.

Playing with the Pros

Former Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer now runs Overdog, a startup that lets fans play video games with pro athletes. (Thanks, Daniel!)

Chicago's Soccer Star

The Fire's forward Mike Magee was awarded Major League Soccer's MVP award.

Kiss Something Cam

The Bulls' "Bandwagon Cam" called out Heat fans in the stands during Thursday's game at the United Center.

Return of The Return

The Bulls' Derrick Rose may be returning in time for this year's NBA playoffs.

Teach Me How to Ditka

Double Door is hosting a Mike Ditka look-alike contest, and some former Bears will be among the judges.

Thank You GIFs

Buzzfeed's thank you note to recently re-injured Bulls star Derrick Rose is part earnest homage, part highlight reel.

Looking on the Bright Side

ChicagoSide gives 100 things to be thankful for in Chicago sports.

Wrigley Gets into the Wrigleyville Game

Tom Tunney proposed an ordinance on behalf of the Cubs to let them sell beer outside the stadium on the plaza. If it passes, it'll apply to any venue with 30,000 capacity or bigger.

Pantheon Possibilities

Former Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux and former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas will be on the ballot next year for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

A Return Deferred

The Bulls' Derrick Rose is out for the season after having surgery on his right knee, which he injured during a game against Portland on Friday.

Solidarity Shirts

Chicago Bears players will wear t-shirts with the logo of Washington High School Sunday in a show of support for the tornado-ravaged town.

High Quality H20

The Blackhawks are selling vials of melted home ice from the United Center, saved after last year's championship season, with all the proceeds going to charity. [via]

Defrocking Da Coach

CBS Chicago's Tim Baffoe said Mike Ditka should no longer be considered the ideal Chicago coach after he called Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin "a baby" for complaining about bullying by a teammate.

Cold Sweat Shoes of Legend

In other Michael Jordan news, a former ball boy for the Utah Jazz is planning to auction off the shoes the Bulls star wore while suffering from the flu during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.

The Bears FC

What if the Bears played that other game called football? A new logo project imagines what their insignia would look like. (I think we fared better than Green Bay.)

"If you saw it in a movie you wouldn't believe it... and it'd be a pretty bad movie, too."

ESPN's "30 for 30" looks back on one of the craziest games ever played: the Space Jam game of 1995, which included two of Chicago's biggest stars in basketball, Michael Jordan and Bill Murray. [via]

Parker Comes Back a Champion

High school hoops phenom and current Duke Blue Devil Jabari Parker was back in Chicago for the ESPN Champions Classic double-header last night. Duke lost to Kansas 94-83.

Hoops Hub

Chicago is the most important city in the country for college basketball, writes Ben Cohen in the Wall Street Journal.

Hat Burglar

After Blackhawk Brandon Bollig hit Winnipeg's Adam Pardy through the glass at the United Center, a brash fan pulled off his helmet and tried it on.

Your New Cubs Coach

...is Rick Renteria, most recently bench coach for the San Diego Padres. And it might be a little while before we hear from him -- he's recovering from hip surgery and unable to travel at the moment.

Suiting Up

Former Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass is one of the latest players to sue the NFL for not warning players about the potential of suffering brain damage.

Sore Loser

After apparently winning a bet over whose team would win, a Bears fan shot his Packers-fan wife with a Taser outside a bar in Wisconsin.

Cubs to Leave WGN

The Cubs notified WGN-TV, the superstation that helped create a national fandom for the "lovable losers," that the team is exercising a contract option to end their broadcasting deal after the 2014 season. No word yet on the WGN-AM radio contract, which is up in 2014 as well.

Getting Buck Wild

The Big Buck Hunter World Championship is coming to Wicker Park this weekend.

Shredding the Cheese Heads

If you watched the Bears win over the Packers in Green Bay last night, you might have spotted some Bears fans wearing GraterHead hats in the stands.

D-Ramatic Ending

Returning to the United Center for the first time since his injury, Derrick Rose sunk a game-winning jump shot with just a few seconds left on the clock, sealing the Bulls' 82-81 victory against the Knicks Thursday.

Chicago's Top High School Hoops

ChicagoSide ranks the top 25 high school basketball stars of all time. You may be surprised that Derrick Rose is only seventh on the list.

A Storied Team

Bleacher Report asks if the Bulls will become "America's Team" once again during a season that already resembles a classic sports movie, with Derrick Rose as the returning hero and the dominating, "Hollywood as hell" Miami Heat as the villains.

Body Table Wizardry

The Chicago Pinball Expo was this past weekend, and Ars Technica got a look at some of the new custom machines.

One-Two Punch for Bears

After tearing a groin muscle, Bears QB Jay Cutler is out for at least four weeks, and injured linebacker Lance Briggs will be out for six weeks as well.

Leave Your Monocle at Home, Mr. Peanut

This weekend's Northwestern game against the Minnesota Gophers at Ryan Field will be completely peanut-free, making it easier for people with allergies to attend the game.

Only Humanely Raised Tofu

Chipotle will be testing out its shredded tofu option at all its Chicago locations.

Don't Blame Bartman

Yes, it's been 10 years since the infamous Bartman incident. But rapper Serengeti (as well as certain Cubs players) think it's time for Cubs fans to move on and stop blaming Steve.

Going the Distance

One competitor in the Chicago Marathon could be the first person to ever win three major marathons in a season -- and she races in a wheelchair.

Fun Marathon Facts

Did you know that the Chicago Marathon used to be sponsored by Old Style? And that there are eight runners who have competed in every marathon since its inception in 1977? [via]

You've Got to be Bleepin' Me

Any White Sox fans looking to relive the low points of the past season are sure to enjoy a supercut of Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson's best awkward silences, screams, and other meltdowns of 2013. [via]

RIP Handy Andy

Former Cubs player Andy Pafko, who played during the team's last trip to the World Series in 1945, passed away at 94.

United States of X: Sports Edition

Slate makes the obvious choice for Illinois on its map of the US in which each state gets one signature sport: 16-inch softball.

Who Should Be the Cubs' Next Manager?

The Onion asks in its latest nationwide poll.

Home Site Takeover

Speaking of the Blackhawks' victory lap, a video promoting Chicago is front-and-center on the City of Boston's homepage today after Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino made good on his bet with Mayor Emanuel over which city's team would win the Cup.

Lord Stanley, Presiding

The Blackhawks took time for ceremony before their 6-4 win against the Capitals Tuesday at the United Center, adding a fifth Stanley Cup championship banner to their collection.

Skipper Out After a Two Season Tour

The Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum after the team finished this season in last place in its division.

Young Cutler

Jay Cutler's high school highlight tape shows the Bears QB was a pro at passing, catching, and even dunking at a young age. [via ]

Perfect for a Billboard

The Chicago Cubs revealed the 100th anniversary logo for Wrigley Field, selected from 1,200 entries submitted to the team as part of a contest.

105 Years & Counting

The 105th anniversary of the "Merkle's Boner" play that led to the Cubs' last World Series win was yesterday. The umpire who called the play, Hank O'Day, is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Keith Olberman suggests this is the moment the Cubs' curse began.

D Rose Goes All In

In a new Adidas ad, Bulls star Derrick Rose sets his sights on giving Chicago "the ultimate thank you" when he returns to the court this season.

Operation Rain Drop

Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig takes to the ice and shoots for laughs in a response to the viral video of Patrick Kane's impressive stickhandling abilities.


Kansas Comet Files Suit

Former Bears running back Gale Sayers is suing the NFL for not doing enough to protect him from head trauma during his seven-year career.

Sky Flying High

After years of struggling, the Chicago Sky are energized ahead of their first playoff bid ever this Friday against rival Indiana Fever.

Because it's the Photo Op

Blackhawks fans may get their last opportunity to pose with the Stanley Cup tomorrow at Millennium Park; its tour ends when the hockey season begins in October.

Swing Set Disparities

WBEZ's Curious City found that parks and playgrounds serving children of color are generally farther away, less safe, and renovated less often.

Wrigley Regulars

Al Yellon reflects on why he continues to go to every Cubs home game, even after decades of disappointment.

Derrick Rose Gets Some Light Practice

Rose is on a tour of Japan, China and the Phillipines for Adidas, and took some time out for shooting practice in Tokyo.

Here he is against three challengers from the crowd:

Versus a Japanese professional basketball player:

And of course, be cause it's Japan, versus a sumo wrestler:

The Gopher Strikes Again?

A suspicious fire wiped out most of the golf carts at the Chick Evans Golf Course on the Northwest Side; investigators suspect foul play.

Flop Down, Chicago Bears

Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said the team had a "designated fall guy" who would fake injury to slow down fast-tempo opponents. [via]

Famous Swimmer's Chicagoland Roots

As the school year kicks off, Lake Forest College celebrates alumnus Diana Nyad, whose historic swim from Cuba to Florida is an inspiration to current student athletes.

Look at the Sky

The Chicago Sky clinched top seed in the WNBA playoffs this weekend, securing home court advantage in their first postseason in the team's history.

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Box

Cards Against Humanity is launching a monolith.

The Bigger Blacker Box from Max Temkin on Vimeo.

That Sounds Safe

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee is planning to build the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world.

Triathletes Triumph Over Trials

The thousands of people who turned out for Sunday's Chicago Life Time Triathlon included a ten-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis, 22 paratriathletes, and a man who learned how to swim this year.

Fire Staffer Burnt Out with Fans

In a lengthy editorial posted to the Chicago Fire's website, Communications Director Dan Lobring calls out the soccer club's fans for disrespecting the team's owners and behaving badly after the Fire lost at home to one of the worst teams in the MLS, ending their bid for the U.S. Open Cup. [via]

Ditka's the New Goat

Mike Ditka stopped by Bears practice yesterday, helping the team "embrace tradition" -- or perhaps acting as the Billy Goat, un-jinxing the upcoming season.

The Scarlet Letter C

Apparently Brewers player Ryan Braun accused the man who collected the urine sample that led to his suspension on drug policy violations of being a Cubs fan and an anti-Semite, according to ESPN.

Down on the Bears

Deadspin's Drew Magary once again tells you why the Bears will suck this year. (Don't worry, all the other teams will suck, too.)

Chicago Sirens Rugby Team Headed to Kenya

The Chicago Sirens Women's Rugby Club has been invited to play in the 2014 Safari Sevens Tournament in Nairobi, Kenya. They are the only U.S. team -- and the first women's team outside of Africa -- to receive an invitation to this premier tournament.

Cheerleaders on Ice

What's it like trying out for the Blackhawks' Ice Crew? DNAinfo reporter Jackie Kostek tells all.

Return of the Mariotti

The beloved ex-Sun Times sports columnist has launched a new website.

Still His Airness

Fifty-year-old Michael Jordan can still dunk.

Red Stars on Camera

The Chicago Red Stars' Ella Masar and Erin McLeod do a YouTube interview show, and it's wonderfully low-budget -- and popular.

Own a Piece of (Bloody) Sports History

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is selling the stitches he received after getting hit in the face by a puck in Game 6 of the finals, giving all proceeds of the online sale to charity.

Tough Crowd

Sox fans gave quite a warm welcome to soon-to-be-banned Yankee Alex Rodriguez last night before the Sox beat his team 8-1.

Force Win First National Championship

The Chicago Force defeated the Dallas Diamonds 81-34 Saturday night to win the Women's Football Alliance (WFA) National Championship.

Cheer on Chicago's Championship Team

The undefeated Chicago Force will be taking on the Dallas Diamonds at the Women's Football Alliance Championship game in San Diego on Saturday. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. and the game will be live on ESPN3 and streaming online.

Kick Butt Russian Style

You may have seen viral videos of people kicking ass using the Russian martial art called systema. There are a couple places you can learn it here in Chicago.

AKA Water

The Blackhawks will be selling melted ice, allegedly from the United Center rink, to raise money for team charities. Meanwhile, the Sox are selling broken dreams and the Cubs are selling tickets to next year.

Bouncing Balls on Trampolines

Spikeball was just beginning to catch on in 2008 when I posted about it in Tailgate. It's now catching on nationally.

Honus Visits Rosemont

The National Sports Collectors Convention is out in Rosemont this week, and will feature the auction of the super-rare Honus Wagner T206 card, among other highlights.

Let's Hear it for the Hawk

If you get the MLB Network, tune in tonight at 6pm for Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson, a documentary about the White Sox's colorful announcer.

Justin Meets Stanley

Justin Bieber hung out with the Stanley Cup before his show at the United Center Tuesday, and hung his sweater in Toews' locker. Fans were not pleased.

Appling to Sandberg to Banks

ChicagoSide put together a Chicago baseball dream team borrowing from all eras, as part of its ongoing Sports Almanac of Significance.

Boozer is not a Crook

"When Carlos Boozer trends on Twitter it's never to laud his successes." ChicagoSide's Ben Lyon argues that the Bulls' big man reminds fans of what the team is, instead of what it could be.

The Stanley Cup's Doppelgängers

Homemade Stanley Cups are popping up all over town, and we've started to collect photos of them. Have you photographed any? Consider adding them to our flickr pool!

We'll Always Have Boston

Mere days after winning the Stanley Cup, two Blackhawks players (one of whom scored the final goal in Game 6) were notified that they had been traded to other teams.

"Hockey is a tough game."

That's the first line in an open letter to the Bruins from Blackhawks owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz and team President and CEO John McDonough, published in today's Boston Globe.

Save Wrigley, One Way or the Other

What "save Wrigley Field" means depends on your perspective, apparently The Cubs sent out an email yesterday asking fans to sign a petition supporting the ballclub's restoration plans. Meanwhile, the grassroots group Save Wrigley Field is pushing for the opposite.

Hawks on Parade

The Blackhawks championship parade will begin at the United Center on Friday and end in Grant Park for a rally at 11am. The official parade route will be announced Thursday.

Blackhawks by Phone

If you haven't found enough ways to celebrate the Hawks' win, you can now add free Blackhawks emoji to your iPhone.

The Stanley Cup Hangover

After the police drove revelers from the street in Wrigleyville last night, some of them smashed windows and caused mayhem further down Clark and Broadway. Ted McClelland wonders whether cops would have been as lenient if it were protestors instead of Blackhawks fans.

Media Burn Video Feature: Dennis and Bobby Hull in 1985

While you're still reveling in the 'hawks win, why not take a stroll down memory lane with Media Burn's digitized featurette on Dennis and Bobby Hull from 1985.

Pass the Cup

With that incredible Game 6 win, the Stanley Cup is back in Chicago! Keep your eye on its whereabouts via Twitter, and stay tuned for details on the Blackhawks' victory parade.

Will LeBron Ever Catch Jordan?

Nate Silver thinks he's going to need some luck.

This Better not Jinx It

South suburban Blackhawks fan Russell Pederson has a tattoo of the Stanley Cup on his arm -- and got 2013 added to it after the Hawks tied up the championship series with the Bruins. [via]

Base-Jumping Trump

Three people parachuted off Trump Tower around 12:30am last night, and unlike the last time, the police didn't catch them.

A Blackhawks Symphony

Still wired after that OT win the Blackhawks offered last night? Soothe yourself with a rendition of "Chelsea Dagger" played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (Nice shirt, Muti!)

Blackhawks Swag

Young Regime, Windy City Beast and Tiggy-G have released a Blackhawks anthem worthy of the team: "Stanley Cup Swagger."

Meet "The 606"

Branding consultants have decided that we should all call The Bloomingdale Trail "The 606." The name is a reference to the shared parts of our zip codes, and not, presumably, intended to reference Chicago's original "606," the legendary speakeasy turned "gentlemen's club."

Not Such a Strong Idea

Lakeview-based Cubby Tees created a "Chicago Stronger" shirt to show support of the Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins. The shirt has been pulled after the company received what they're calling a "Twitter-lynching." The shirt is a play on the "Boston Strong" slogan created after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Free Fire Game

If you're not doing anything today, jump in the car and head down to Toyota Park and watch the Fire take on the Columbus Crew. Both parking and admission are free; the game was postponed from last night.

2,152 Consecutive Blackhawks Games

Tonight, Bob Gertenrich will make it 2,153. Look for him in Section 333, Row 1, Seat 18.

No 3-Day Next Year

Susan G Komen for the Cure is canceling next year's 3-Day in Chicago and six other cities due to falling participation. This year's walk is Aug. 9-11

The Green of the Ivy, the Cork of the Bat

This might make you feel old: Sammy Sosa's corked bat incident was 10 years ago.

Improving the Lakefront Trail

Today the Active Transportation Alliance released its co-authored report [pdf] of user perceptions of the lakefront trail. In a surprise to no one, trail users are most frustrated by the sections between Fullerton and Division and over the river. How's that Navy Pier flyover coming along?

The Sponsor-Friendly Confines

The Cubs have erected mockups of the signage and Jumbotron they'd like to install as part of the proposed renovation. Probably should have done "FFFFUUUUUUU" instead of just "FFFFFFFFFFF."

Playing and Socializing

Chicago Sport & Social Club dominates summer recreational sports in the city -- it's the largest adult recreational sports company by participation.

Reinsdorf's Achievements

Sports Business Daily gave Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the White Sox and Bulls, a lifetime achievement award this week, and provides in-depth looks at his history with the Sox and his more hands-off approach with the Bulls. The 77-year-old owner also mentioned a succession plan that recommends selling the Sox.

Urlacher Ends Career as a Bear

Brian Urlacher announced his retirement today, rather than joining a team other than the Bears. He'll be eligible for the Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

MJ vs. Kobe

In his new book, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, coach Phil Jackson finally compares Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. The LA Times' Mike Bresnahan has the choice excerpts. [via]

To Build a Stadium

The mayor is touting a $300 million basketball stadium for DePaul near McCormick Place that would be funded in large part with public money (and which many experts say is a terrible idea). Chicago mag's Whet Moser has done a good job of detailing the questions surrounding the deal and the risks with public funding of stadiums. Meanwhile, the Cubs upped their campaign for Wrigley renovations with a new website.

The Bird Lady of Miami

As Joakim Noah left the game Wednesday, a Heat fan angrily flipped him off. The was identified as Filomena Tobias, a widow whose been in the news before. Now that the Internet has had its way with her, the Sun-Sentinel shares more of her story.

A Bull Gets a Horn

A Miami Heat fan threw dazzling shade at Joakim Noah after his ejection during last night's playoff (which the Bulls lost; the 115-78 final score was the largest losing margin in playoff history).

From Chapter 7 to Team Owner

The new owner of the Chicago Rush arena football team is perhaps not the most trustworthy guy to put in charge of a lot of money, or a sports franchise. [via]

Skating Soldier Field Again

The Blackhawks will play the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field next March as part of the NHL's new Stadium Series, which joins the Winter Classic that the Hawks have participated in a couple times. Sign up for ticket info here.

Explain's Cameron's Jersey

James Hughes talks about going to hockey games with his father, filmmaker John Hughes, and his dad's soft spot the Redwings.

The Nuclear Cubs Option

Tom Ricketts unveiled renderings of the proposed Wrigley Field remodel -- and threatened to move the Cubs if it doesn't get approved, while claiming "There's no threats."

GLBT Sports Hall of Fame Launches

The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame launched in Chicago on Tuesday. It will begin accepting nominees this summer.

Fielding Dreams

Leroy Franklin has coached the Simeon Wolverines to victory on the baseball diamond for decades, but one triumph has eluded him: the state championship. Could this be the year?

Bliss Lose the Lingerie, Keep Fighting

Rachel Shteir's latest article is a look at the Chicago Bliss, a team in the Legends -- formerly Lingerie -- Football League, for ChicagoSide. The Bliss lost their first game last week; meanwhile The Force is 2-0 and off to its usual domination in the Women's Football Alliance.

MJ's Poison Pizza?

Michael Jordan's infamous "flu game" in the 1997 NBA Finals was actually a case of food poisoning by Utah Jazz fans, MJ's former trainer claims.

Get Kids Out on the Field

Three South Side baseball diamonds will be refurbished this month, in hopes of inspiring children to follow in Jackie Robinson's footsteps.

Swoopes Swoops In

WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes has been named head coach of Loyola's women's basketball team.

Wrigley's Future

The Cubs and the City announced a "framework" for Wrigley renovations, which includes more night games, a giant video scoreboard and more.

Robinson at Wrigley

Jackie Robinson, whose life is depicted in 42, out this weekend, made his major league debut at Wrigley Field in 1947. A snippet of film shot by a fan shows him out on the field and signing autographs. [via]

Ricketts got the Goat

Someone dropped off a a goat's head in a box, addressed to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, at Wrigley Field yesterday afternoon. No word yet on whether it was meant as a creepy curse-breaker or more of a Godfather-style message regarding ongoing renovation negotiations.

Cornhole Everywhere

It's almost warm out, which means soon certain parts of the city will soon echo with the sounds of bean bags hitting plywood.

RIP Jack Pardee

Jack Pardee, a Texas college football star who went on to coach the Bears from 1975 to 1977, passed away after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 76.

Whose Idea Was This?

Deadspin and the rest of the internet had some fun at the expense of Comcast SportsNet's White Sox intro video that played before today's home opener.

Cubs Still Near Top

The Cubs are still the most profitable baseball team and fourth most valuable overall, according to Forbes.

Jabari Repeats

Simeon's Jabari Parker won the Illinois Mr. Basketball award for the second straight year. Parker, the first ever back-to-back winner, will play for Duke University next season.

I am a Villager

There are many Werewolf game decks out there, but this is the only one created by Max Temkin, one of the masterminds behind Cards Against Humanity.

Urlacher Out

Brian Urlacher will not be a Bear in 2013, after negotiations reached an impasse over an offer Urlacher found insultingly low.

Step Up to the Line

The Chicago Parks Foundation's Windy City Hoops (previously) currently has a $25,000 matching challenge running on its IndieGoGo campaign; pledge by midnight tonight to get the project fully funded. [via]

The Blackhawks' Record*

On Chicagoside, Michael Hirsley asks whether the Hawks' record-breaking streak this season deserves an asterisk -- and not just because of the the shortened season.

Get a Wrigley Rooftop Deal for a Donation

Former Chicago Bites coauthor Bridget Houlihan has put together a deal for discount tickets to watch the Cubs play the Padres from the deck at 3639 Wrigley Rooftop on May 1; donate $15 or more to Easter Seals and get your ticket for just $69.

Cubs in Rosemont?

Rosemont's mayor wants the Cubs to relocate to his tiny hamlet, and is even offering to build a replica of Wrigley in the shadow of O'Hare.

Coloring Between the Lines

Registration is open for the Color in Motion 5k, the race where the runners get doused in pigment, Holi-style.

The Bloomingdale Trail is on its Way

After years of organizing, the Bloomingdale Trail and Park network is scheduled to break ground this summer [pdf].

Bloomingdale Park and Trail on Track for Summer Groundbreaking by Gapers Block

Synchronized Steel on Ice

The Chicago Jazz junior synchronized ice skating team won fourth place in a national competition earlier this month.

Air Jabari

High school basketball star Jabari Parker only recently announced where he'll play college hoops, but he's already been introduced to the world of sponsorship deals thanks to Simeon Academy's deal with Nike.

Are You Active on the South Side?

The U of C's Cultural Policy Center and the Southside Arts & Humanities Network want to know what you do on the South Side. The survey touches on civic engagement through art, music, work, worship, and research, and should take about 10 minutes.

Skate Grant Park!

The park district is creating a new, permanent skate park in Grant Park at 11th and Michigan. Preliminary plans will be released during Wednesday's Grant Park Conservancy/Advisory Council meeting.

Marathon Registration Reset

If you tried to register for the Chicago Marathon and were thwarted by server problems, you'll get your opportunity sometime Sunday ...or possibly a little later. Register here to get an email update about it.

Pinball: Rise of the Machines

Chicago suburbs-based Stern Pinball is seeing a surge in business with the rise of "barcades" and nostalgia gaming. They're doing so well that they have competition again -- until 2011, they were the only company still making machines.

Tickets to Athleticism & Gluttony

By coincidence, registration for the Chicago Marathon and Baconfest are on successive days: Register for the marathon beginning at noon Tuesday, and get your Baconfest tickets at noon on Wednesday.

MJ at 50

ESPN's Outside the Lines has a great profile of Michael Jordan as he turns 50 that feels a little like "Michael Jordan Has a Cold."

No More Cubs on WGN?

Cub owner Tom Ricketts was noncommittal when asked about the team's relationship with WGN-TV beyond 2014. The network has broadcast Cub games for over six decades, but may be dropped in favor of more a more lucrative deal.

Who's Worth a Puck

Now that the NHL lockout is behind us, professors at UofC's Booth School of Business tried to determine if hockey salaries are worth it. According to the researchers, a little Moneyball-style stats analysis could work wonders to find diamonds on the ice.

Estimating Player Contribution in Hockey With Regularized Logistic Regression by Gapers Block

Oh, Wrigleyville Nights

The Cubs want more night games this season, but Ald. Tom Tunney may be standing in their way.

Williams' Journey to Recovery

The New York Times Magazine details former Bull point guard Jay Williams' new career as a sterling basketball analyst. A few years before Derrick Rose's leg made the city hold its breath, Williams crashed his motorcycle and ended an unremarkable one-year career in the NBA.

Bleed Wildcat Purple

The Cubs and Northwestern have worked out a deal that will bring football back to Wrigley Field -- along with baseball and lacrosse.

Basketball Diplomacy on Gun Violence

A Chicago high school basketball star himself, former CPS chief/current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan connects to Chicago's gun violence and its toll on the city's youth through basketball, as Rick Telander tells it, and he's enlisted friends Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to help formulate a plan to combat it.

Bulls, Bears & Blackhawks, Oh My

Chronology Clothing's "The Beast" is the perfect Chicago sports t-shirt -- as long as you don't like baseball. [via]

We Are the Bears Shufflin' Crew

Jake Austen put together a fantastic oral history of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" for Grantland.

Reporting from the Locker Room

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was a rookie quarterback in 1987 when he let Cheryl Raye-Stout into the locker room, helping change the culture at Halas Hall.

Half Court Hook Shot

At the Heat/Pistons games Friday, a Chicago-area man had the chance to win $75,000 by making one shot from half court. I won't ruin the ending, but Lebron James does tackle him in joy.

Wrigley Rooftop Owners: Advertise Here!

Owners of rooftop clubs across from Wrigley Field offered to let the Cubs put digital billboards on their buildings, rather than see billboards erected as part of the proposed stadium renovations. They also noted that such plans would violate the landmark status of portions of Wrigley and also the 20-year revenue-sharing agreement between the rooftop clubs and the team.

High School Hoops Covered by High Schoolers

With Hoops High, Free Spirit Media is teaching Chicago high school students sports journalism and broadcasting skills.

Permanent Cubs Fan

One indication you might be a superfan: You have the signature of your favorite player, his number and the team's logo tattooed on the back of your head.

Wrigley Reimagined

The Cubs released proposed plans for renovating Wrigley Field yesterday, along with a whole lot of conceptual illustrations.

Post-game Tragedy

Following last night's highly anticipated Simeon-Morgan Park basketball game at Chicago State, a 17-year-old was shot and killed outside the gymnasium. It's unclear if the shooting had anything to do with a post-game fracas that was broken up by Chicago Public Schools security.

Games of Skill

From the early coin-op games invented in Chicago to the new "barcade" concept, The Verge tells the story of the rise and fall of the arcade. While you're at it, don't miss the photo essay of Stern Pinball's factory.

Relive 2005

If you're still holding onto the flame of the White Sox's 2005 World Championship, you might be interested in this ring. [via]

Sammy Sosal Media

Former Cub Sammy Sosa has joined Pinterest, as well as flickr and Twitter. Follow if you're really into photos of Sammy Sosa. [via]

The social media push is apparently part of a marketing push for Sosa's new company, Injex 21, which is developing needleless injection technology. Sammy Sosa

The Best Shots

Michael Jordan (twice), Dick Butkus, Dennis Rodman and Julius Peppers (not as a Bear) feature in Sport Illustrated's 100 greatest sports photos.

No More Lovie

The Bears coach has been fired after nine seasons.

5 Bears go to the Pro Bowl

Tim Jennings, Brandon Marshall, Henry Melton, Julius Peppers and Charles Tillman were selected for the Pro Bowl this year, all as starters. Marshall is the first Bears receiver to be picked since 2002.

GB Gift Guide: Roller Derby

The Windy City Rollers have a great last-minute gift for your derby fan, if you act fast: discounted single-match and season tickets.

Six-Shooters Holstered Permanently

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, the Bulls' Joakim Noah is ending his practice of pretending to shoot and holster pistols, Wild West style, after scoring.

Humanity's OK with Cards

Cards Against Humanity's pay-what-you-want holiday extension pack? Apparently they're not all horrible people, because they didn't lose money, and donated the profits to Wikimedia.

GB Gift Guide: A Drive into the Gap

Kevin Guilfoile's short memoir A Drive into the Gap is perfect for baseball fans and fathers. Read an excerpt on ESPN.

Cutler's PR Offensive

PR Daily's Michael Sebastian examines what Jay Cutler could do to improve his public image.

Very Long Roadtrips

College athletic conference realignment is all the rage these days -- and now Chicago State is on the move. The Cougars will join Idaho, Seattle and others in the Western Athletic Conference next season.

"I'm distinctly in the minority at the United Center."

GB's own Evan F. Moore admits it: he's a black hockey fan.

Playing In Uncle Dick's Shadow

ChicagoSide's Ben Strauss talks with Don Butkus, Mount Carmel quarterback and nephew of Bears legend Dick Butkus.

Play Here for Free

The United Center sweetened its deal to lure the DePaul Blue Demons away from the Allstate Arena: 10 years free rent. DePaul is supposedly still leaning toward building an arena near McCormick Place.

Business is H E Double Hockey Sticks

The NHL lockout hasn't just disappointed hockey fans. It's hurt businesses that rely on Blackhawks fans.

A Rose Bud

Derrick Rose tweeted three pictures of his newborn son, PJ, yesterday. Pretty adorable.

pj rose

Cutler Picks Mitt

In case you're still undecided this morning, here's one last endorsement: Jay Cutler is voting for Mitt Romney.

Cubs' Spring Training Facility Negotiations Halted

ASU and the Cubs have officially ended negotiations regarding sharing a new spring training stadium in Mesa, Arizona. A Cubs spokesperson's snide comment may explain the negotiation's tone: "We invited ASU to play in a rent-free stadium. Unfortunately, this was not enough to meet the university's needs."

Cyborg to Climb 103 Stories

Zac Vawter will be climbing the Sears Tower Sunday in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's SkyRise Chicago stair climb challenge -- on a bionic leg.

Dent: Blame Ditka Post '85

Richard Dent lays the blame at coach Mike Ditka's feet for the Bears failure to follow up Super Bowl XX with even more championships.

A Promising Halloween

The Martin Prosperity Institute ranks the Chicago area as the best Halloween spot in the country. The factors? A relatively dense population, the highest number of candy stores per capita and a median income that allows for high candy "purchasing capacity."

Bulls on Parade

Check out the Trib's Chicago Bulls preview. (Our own Donny Rodriguez has been previewing too, in Tailgate.)

Bad Day for Ex-Sox

Former White Sox players Ozzie Guillen and Carlton Fisk were in the news yesterday -- Guillen for getting fired by the Marlins and Fisk for being found drunk and passed out in his truck in the middle of a corn field.

A Prize in Pitcher Pollack

In an otherwise unremarkable book, Kevin Guilfoile found an unexpected souvenir from the Cubs' 1929 World Series.

Mariotti Returns ChicagoSide

Quietly, reviled sportswriter Jay Mariotti has returned to Chicago sports as an occasional columnist for ChicagoSide. In his latest, he talks about why he still loves his job.

Losing Air

Has Michael Jordan lost his mojo? Time Out's Frank Sennett assesses.

$38k for Dinner?

Proving that even NFL players occasionally need to be embarrassed, the Bears' rookies got a dose of humility by getting pranked with a fake $38,000 dinner bill. I still want to know how much it would cost to for the entire team to chow down at Smith and Wollensky.

A Bigger, Safer, Faster Marathon

One runner suffered cardiac arrest, but otherwise fewer Chicago Marathon runners ended up in the hospital this year. And with a record 37,455 finishers, the Marathon ran out of medals for finishers. Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede won, setting a new course record.

More Football at Wrigley?

The Ricketts won approval of changes to Wrigley Field that will add three rows of seats behind home plate and make a portion of the left field wall removable -- which would allow college football games to play in both directions.

Run Like 'L'

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon this Sunday, Nike and the CTA have teamed up to create high-performance Dri-FIT t-shirts.

No Swim Test to Help U of C Students Fight Freshman 15

The University of Chicago announced it will do away with its swimming test requirement for incoming students. For nearly 60 years U of C has enforced the rule that students who cannot prove they can successfully swim 100 yards must enroll in a swimming course.

Keep On Coachin'

In a Bull's offseason riddled with bad news, something hopeful: following rumors that he wound and rumors that he wouldn't, fan-favorite Tom Thibodeau has agreed to a four-year extension to keep him coaching the Bulls through the 2016-17 season.

Blue Demons Go Court Hunting

DePaul is considering a new home court for its men's basketball team. Even Rahm is in support of moving the games from Allstate Arena in Rosemont so the Blue Demons can play within the city's limits.

The Runway 5k

We don't often post about 5k runs, but most 5ks don't let you run on an O'Hare runway. Plus, it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

Is There a Sox Game Today?

There's been a site to let you know if there's a Cubs game (so as to avoid the inevitable traffic) for a couple years. One for the White Sox is finally here.

Hawk's a Homer

White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson is the most biased by far in the major leagues, according to new research. We coulda told them that. And of course Hawk loves it. [via]

D Rose Rises

So what if these adidas commercials are made to sell basketball shoes, you still might get goosebumps.

Butch Edge

Josh Wilker of Cardboard Gods flashes backward and forward, past and present, through an unlikely baseball card.

It's a Game, Dude

Former Blackhawks player Chris Chelios set Jay Cutler's jersey on fire last night while at Stanley's Kitchen and Tap in Old Town, referring to the Bears QB as being "nothing but a bitch." Nice.

Sox Management Shakeup?

Is White Sox GM Kenny Williams being kicked upstairs, becoming vice president of operations while his assistant GM Rick Hahn takes his place? Williams isn't confirming, but he's not exactly denying it, either. [via]

That Cubs BJ Guy

You may have heard about the guy at Monday night's Cubs game who was making lewd faces behind home plate. That guy was Julian Dalrymple, and Impose magazine has an interview with him.

Cutler takes a Tumblr

Smokin' Jay Cutler, a site "dedicated to the most apathetic looking athlete in the history of sports. "

Not Your World Championship Cubs

In the trailer for NBC's new show "Revolution" this spring, a sign on Wrigley Field named the Cubs the 2012 World Champions. Fantasy caught up to reality by the time the show aired this week.

Muhammad Ali Goes to Mars

In 1966, a New Trier highschooler named Michael Aisner drove to the South Side with a friend to interview Muhammad Ali. The reel-to-reel tape hadn't been heard for 50 years -- until Aisner submitted it to Blank on Blank, a new collection of "lost interviews" old and new.

Watch Tumblr Storyboards animated version of the interview, or listen to the extended version on Soundcloud.

Cubs Fans Start to Get Wise

The Cubs are on track to post their lowest annual attendance since 2003 -- although that 36,116 average still puts them among the top in the league. Meanwhile, the Sox are averaging only 24,520 fans, despite leading their division.

Worst Baseball Franchise?

Good news, the Cubs aren't the worst franchise in baseball, but they are somewhat close. According to Chicago magazine's analysis of a tool developed by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Cubs sit comfortably at 27th place. This should make Cubs fans thankful they aren't Mets fans.

Dribbling into History

America SCORES Chicago is taking part in a world record attempt at the most soccer balls dribbled at one time by a group -- and you can help. Sign up to participate, then read our feature about the organization in Tailgate.

Mapping Park(ing) Day 2012

Park(ing) Day is only a couple of weeks away, but the official map only has the city's People Spaces listed. Why not add yours today?

The Glowing Puck Guy

Crain's profiles Hank Adams, CEO of Sportvision, the Ravenswood-based company responsible for football's first and ten lines and less beloved innovations.

Armstrong Can't Runstrong for Livestrong

Runner's World reports that Lance Armstrong has been denied entry to the Chicago Marathon, which is a month from today. The disgraced cyclist had planned to run with the Livestrong Foundation-sponsored team.

D.Rose Loves Giordano's

Giordano's landed a big-time investor and spokesperson this week: Derrick Rose. [via]

How Sweetness Soured

Speaking of the '85 Bears, author Jeff Pearlman recounts in ChicagoSide how his biography of Walter Payton was panned by Chicago media without ever being read.

McMahon's Memory Loss

In this week's Sports Illustrated, former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and his girlfriend Laurie Navon discuss his early onset dimentia due to the several concussions he suffered in the NFL.

White Sox Ticket Prices for Next 3 Series will be Dropped

The White Sox have announced that they will offer discount tickets throughout the next three home stands. Lower deck tickets aren't discounted -- but you can get them half-price on Sept. 13 through GB's own special deal.

The Ursine Uniforms

UniWatch's uniform power rankings put the Bears and Cubs in the top five best uniforms in all four major leagues. (The rest: Sox at 39, Blackhawks at 49, Bulls all the way down at 67.)

Let's Hear it for the Hawk

Speaking of the Sox, Chicago magazine has a great feature profiling Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, the team's sometimes reviled, longtime announcer and one-time GM.

Konerko Goes to Work

TS Flynn writes a tribute to Paul Konerko and the Sox experience in The Classical.

Surfing Chicago

According to the Atlantic Cities Chicago is the fourth most requested destination for couch surfers, but we're tied for ninth place for the price of a hotel.

Get On Your Bike & Tour

To counteract some of that anti-bikeness, why not hit the Four-Star Bike Tour or Fork and the Road's "global snack" biking food tour? They're both Slowdown picks for this Sunday.

Stuff the Bears

Deadspin's Drew Magary is pretty down on the Bears, but nothing compares with their own fans.

Let the Women Join

Now that Augusta National Golf Club will allow women as members, the Sun-Times' Mitch Dudek checked with Chicagoland's four men-only golf clubs to see if they'll change their ways.

Bearish on the Bulls

This looks to be a year on hold for the Bulls. Our own Evan Moore wonders if they've waved the white flag already, while the Bleacher Report makes a case that Reinsdorf should sell the team.

Fans for Life & Beyond

Errol Morris directed a short documentary about sports-themed funerals for ESPN's new "It's Not Crazy, It's Sports" marketing campaign. The film features an unnamed -- and very much alive -- Cubs fan. [via]

Not Sure What the Discount Is

Groupon is offering a $30,000 deal today for a Cubs "Game Day Experience", benefiting Cubs Charities. The deal gets you the opportunity to throw out the first pitch on Aug. 30, a tour of the stadium, memorabilia and a suite for you and 13 of your friends.

Da Bears on da Tube

Sweet Chi Town collects a few 1985 Bears commercials to help you get in the mood for this season.

Tour the Suburbs

If you're intrigued by suburban companies moving back downtown (including today's United announcement), you may be interested in Forgotten Chicago's "Corporate Kings of the Suburbs & Stern Pinball Tour," which will visit several midcentury suburban corporate campuses. Their upcoming Hyde Park modernist walking tour looks promising too.

Games Before Grades

CBS Sports reports that UNC posted what appears to be the college transcript of Bears' defensive end Julius Peppers. If they're his, let's just say he wasn't hired for his grades.

The Roots of Mush Ball

Chicago's beloved 16-inch softball, the sport of the everyman, was invented by a bunch of Ivy Leaguers in the exclusive Farragut Boat Club in 1887. Adam Doster shares that historical tidbit and many more in The Classical.

This of course gives me the opportunity to re-post the wonderful mini documentary Royko at the Goat, in which the veteran journalist talks about softball at the Billy Goat Tavern in 1982.

Spike Spike Baby

Vanilla Ice will perform at the Big Dig beach party at North Avenue Beach this Sunday.

So We Beat On, Boats Against the Current

Jenn Gibbons, who was rowing around Lake Michigan to raise money for breast cancer research when she was sexually assaulted in her boat (previously), is back on the water.

Father, Son & Roberto Clemente

Kevin Guilfoile relates a mystery about baseball and memory in his new book, A Drive Into the Gap, which is published by Field Notes Brand Books.

Field Notes Brand Books: A Drive into the Gap, by Kevin Guilfoile from Coudal Partners on Vimeo.

Rowing to Recovery

Jenn Gibbons completed her mission to row around Lake Michigan yesterday, raising $45,000 for Recovery on Water, the rowing team for breast cancer survivors she founded in 2007. (Previously.)

Rockers vs. Jocks

Former Bull Paul Shirley and Sheepdogs frontman Ewan Currie talk sports and music in ChicagoSide's version of Lollapalooza coverage.

Old School Fans

Chi City Sports has some great pixilated logo t-shirts for the Bears, Bulls and Cubs -- but what about the Blackhawks and Sox?

2 Wheels, a Package & a Dream

The festivities surrounding the World Bike Messenger Championships begin tonight ahead of the actual races this weekend. Get on your bike and join in.

Ring and a Miss

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans go awry. Like when you set it up to propose to your girlfriend on the Wrigley Field scoreboard, and she's off buying drinks when it appears. [via]

Local Makes Gold

Winnetka native Conor Dwyer was part of the 4x200 freestyle relay that earned Michael Phelps' 19th Olympic medal.

Off the Team

Aurora native Anna Li has been removed as an alternate for the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic team after tearing a ligament in her neck earlier this week during practice.

Sailing into Mackinac

The last boats in this year's Race to Mackinac crossed the finish line yesterday afternoon. Sail World has a preliminary list of winners.

The City of Terrifyingly Muscular Shoulders

Chicagoland (and the Land of Lincoln itself) will be well represented at the London Olympics.

The Force is Championship-Bound

The Chicago Force held on to win 35-34 over the Boston Militia, which means the undefeated Force is going to the Women's Football Association championship this year. Tune in Aug. 4 when the game will be broadcast live on ESPN from Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.

Charity Rower Attacked

Jenn Gibbons, the founder of Recovery on Water who's been rowing around Lake Michigan to raise awareness of exercise's role in breast cancer recovery (previously), was sexually assaulted as she slept in her rowboat in rural Michigan. She posted on her blog that she intends to keep going, although she'll be bicycling from her current location to Muskegon MI, from which point safe harbors will be more assured.

The Five Ring Diet

Terin Izil, creator of Camp Promise, is eating, drinking, wearing, and maintaining personal hygiene only with products that have the Olympic rings until the end of the Olympics to raise money for her organization. Follow along at 5RingDiet.com

Big Ten's Penn State Problem

Over at Chicagoist, Benjy Lipsman does a good job of explaining the Big Ten's decision to sanction Penn State above and beyond the NCAA's ruling.

Santo Gets His Due

The late great Ron Santo was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. His widow, Vicki, delivered a speech in his stead.

Crosstown Staredown

Craig Robinson and Nick Offerman are back at it in another video for NewEra.

A Diamond Mac Anniversary

Don Glasell will sail in his 50th Mackinac race this Saturday. Watch the boats set off at the Chicago Yacht Club.

That's a Hot Bet

Sometimes the best show at Wrigley is in the stands.

Phil wins a bet from regis wakefield on Vimeo.

Clearly, You Don't Care If You Ever Get Back

Bears training camp starts in two weeks, but it's not too soon to start criticizing Jay Cutler. Let's hope his on-field huddles are more inspiring than his seventh-inning stretch.

Some Time to Spare

Nothing like looking at pictures of old Chicago bowling alleys to help a summer Friday go by. [via]

The Curse of Muldoon & Other Hexes

In honor of Friday the 13th, the Trib runs down 13 Chicago sports superstitions of various vintages.

Cross-Cut Classic

The Crosstown Classic could be cut down to three or four games next year as Major League Baseball revises interleague play.

Skating on the Lake

Just so you know, you're not allowed to skateboard on the breakers just north of Navy Pier in Lake Michigan. [via]

Skate Island from Dalba on Vimeo.

Should Chicago Go for Olympic Gold Again?

NBC's Maggie Hendricks tries to make a case that Chicago should bid again for the Olympics. I'm of the option that... no.

The Third League

Newcity's Eric Lutz put together a history of the Chicago Whales (Wrigley Field's original occupants) and their player-manager Joe Tinker, who'd won the World Series with the Cubs in 1908 and 1909 before taking over the short-lived Federal League team.

No Bulls in London

Derrick Rose isn't the only Bull missing the Olympics this year; Joakim Noah won't play for France due to his ankle sprain in the NBA playoffs.

Food as Sport at the Cell

Just in time for Independence Day, the White Sox have introduced the Giant Slugger, a two-foot-long hot dog. It'll set you back $26; antacids sold separately.

Your 2012 All-Stars

Speaking of Cubs and Sox, a few of them are going to the All-Star Game: Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Chris Sale from the Sox, Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair from the Cubs.

The Ballgame on Your Wall

City Prints Map Art makes posters of Wrigley Field, Sox Park and other baseball stadiums -- in addition to cities like ours. They're on sale on Fab.com right now. [via]

Fear the Brow™

Chicago native and college basketball star Anthony Davis told CNBC: "I don't want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it."

Where to be Popular in Chicago

Facebook dug through two years of "check-in" data for 25 cities and determined the most popular places to announce your presence on facebook. In Chicago, it's Wrigley Field; in Oslo, Norway, it's a T.G.I. Friday's. Check out a graphic with the "social landmarks" from all 25 cities after the jump.

Facebook Map of Popular City Check-ins

Southern Whites on the North Side

Newcity's David Witter provides a contemporary treatment of Uptown's Appalachian influences and history. For further reading, view Whet Moser's January post about the history of Appalachian migration to Chicago.

Take GB Out to the Ball Game

Gapers Block is going to a White Sox game Sept. 13, and you can come too! Tickets are half-price.

June 20, 1984

The day on which the Bulls drafted Michael Jordan from the University of North Carolina.

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Player's Fans

The Bears and Cubs faithful suffer the most in Complex's list of Chicago's "douchiest" sports fans.

Cubs Wollop Sox

The Cubs spanked the Sox 12-3 last night, in one of the least attended Crosstown Classic games in recent memory.

Rowing 'Round the Lake for Recovery

Jenn Gibbons, founder and coach of Recovery on Water, a rowing team for breast cancer survivors, is rowing solo around Lake Michigan to raise raise awareness of the role exercise plays in the fight against breast cancer. She left this weekend, and is already up in Kenosha, WI. Read our profile of Gibbons and ROW in Tailgate.

Take Them Out to the Ball Game

Craig Robinson and Nick Offerman are back for the seventh inning stretch.

Peanut Gets Pissed at Packers Propaganda

A suburban teacher's math question claiming the Packers are "a much better team" than the Bears got a written response from Charles Tillman.

Toyota Park's Broken Promise

The Chicago Fire's stadium in Bridgeview has crippled the suburb with debt, and homeowners have born the brunt while the town's political machine made out, the Tribune reports.

Remembering the Dream Team

No direct reflections from Jordan or Pippen, but this oral history of the '92 "Dream Team" US Olympic basketball team is a great read -- and it does include quotes from Tony Kukoc, who played for Croatia against his future teammates.

Joel Reese is a Hater

Specifically, a hater of certain things about Chicago's sports culture.

Chicago's Chimera

The Chicago Beast by Creaturopolis is an amalgam of all the city's sports mascots, rolled into one minotaur-ish thing and a fire-breathing baby bear wearing tubesocks. [via]

Delivering a Competition

This August, bike messengers from around the world will be descending upon Chicago for the Cycle Messenger World Championships. Think you've got what it takes? Registration is open.

Bike Into the Wind

Do you identify with any of these letters: LGBT? Do you like to bike? Then you may very well be interested in the Windy City Cycling Club (WCCC). Whether you're into a short and leisurely ride, or you're looking for folks into longer and more competitive rides, this may be a great way to make friends, find a date, or just fulfill that New Year's resolution you made months and months ago.

Parrying in the Square

CenterSquare Journal takes you inside the Lincoln Square Fencing Club.

Beating the Spread

Ted McClelland introduces you to Charles K. McNeil, the Chicago securities analyst who invented the point spread.

Oh, Come on.

Greg Hinz says there's still a chance for another Olympic bid.

Presidential Recreation in the Secure Zone

President Obama took some time to throw around ye olde pigskin in Soldier NATO Field on Sunday evening.

P052012PS-0932

The Old Ball Game

The Chicago Amateur Base Ball Annual and Inter-City Base Ball Association Year Book from 1905. [via]

Wrigley Rebuild on Rickettsy Ground

Not surprisingly, Joe Ricketts' planned ad campaign against Obama (previously) pissed off Mayor Emanuel, putting the Rickettses' request for public funding of a Wrigley remodel on shaky footing. Joe Ricketts' Super PAC issued a statement that the campaign was just a proposal, and his kids spent yesterday doing damage control.

The Conservative Chicago Cubs

Joe Ricketts, the head of the family who owns the Cubs, is preparing a major campaign to "defeat Barack Hussein Obama." The NY Times reports that one option is a $10 million racialization of the presidential race by reinserting Rev. Jeremiah Wright and others to influence voters who "still aren't ready to hate this president."

"Friendly at the Confines": Soccer at Wrigley

We've seen hockey and football at Wrigley Field in recent years. Now it's soccer's turn. Roma will play Zaglebie Lubin on July 22; tickets go on sale May 24.

A Long Wait for the Rose

Derrick Rose won't be back in the Bulls lineup for 8 to 12 months after surgery to repair his torn ACL.

Blame Wrigley for the Cubs' Losses

The WSJ enumerates the reasons Wrigley Field Must be Destroyed.

Resistance is Brutal

New City gets engrossed in Billy Corgan's wrestling league, Resistance Pro Wrestling. There's a bout tonight.

Patrick Kane, the Blackouthawk

The Blackhawks' Patrick Kane got drunk in Madison last weekend. Very, very drunk.

Not In My Backyard

44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney's not too happy with the mayor's proposal to renovate and revitalize Wrigley Field.

Cycle Your Commute

The Active Transportation Alliance's Bike Commuter Challenge is coming up next month, and you can sign up now as a team leader or participant for your office. Over 500 companies throughout Chicagoland took the challenge last year. Even a partial commute counts towards participating, so you can give it a try by riding your bike to the CTA or Metra, too.

Ride on LSD

Speaking of cycling, Bike the Drive is May 27. Have you registered yet?

"It's time to meet the challenge."

For basketball fans in need of some encouragement as the playoffs go forward, Scottie Pippen has written an open letter to the 2011-2012 Bulls.

"It was the perfect storm for Derrick Rose to rupture his ACL."

Dr. J. Martin Leland, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine, talks about how anterior cruciate ligaments, or ACLs, are torn, repaired, and what may have happened when Derrick Rose's ACL was injured.

Quite a Humber-Dinger

White Sox pitcher Philip Humber threw a perfect game on Saturday, only the 21st ever. He spoke afterward with reporters in Chicago and Seattle, and is taping a segment for David Letterman tonight.

Silently Skimming the River

The Chicago Electric Boat Co. is renting its fleet for pleasure cruises starting this spring, out of the base of Marina Towers.

Get Ready for the Force

The Chicago Force play their home opener this Saturday up in Evanston.

The Fame Game

Derrick Rose is on the cover of the May issue of GQ, and the subject of a feature-length profile where the star guard discusses life in the public eye and his disdain for fame.

"Oh."

It's not easy being named Michael Jordan in Chicago, as a new ESPN commercial demonstrates.

My dad's name is Sam, which is the same as a Hall of Fame linebacker. It's not such a big deal anymore, but people of older generations will still sometimes ask if he's related. It's a problem for a lot of regular people with famous names.

Julius Peppers is Now a Doctor

The Bears signed a sponsorship deal with Dr. Pepper.

Reserve Tee Time

Local startup Back9Booking allows golfers looking for a tee time to skip calling around and easily search and compare availability across 40 Chicagoland courses.

The Crosstown Classic Debate

Chicagoside mounts a Cubs vs. Sox debate between artist Tony Fitzpatrick and Northwestern English professor Bill Savage to tonight at 7pm at the Haymarket Pub, at which the site's undecided fan will pick his team.

Chicago Gets on the Ice

Chicagoans have gotten back into playing hockey, the NYTimes reports. And not just inside -- a pretty active outdoor league has sprouted up, too, not to mention plenty of pickup games.

No Longer Running Express

The Chicago Express hockey team, which played at the Sears Centre out in Hoffman Estates, has folded after not making it to the playoffs in its first season.

The Day the Generals Won

Speaking of hoops, A.V. Club recalls the day another great Chicago basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters (what, you didn't know?) were beat by the ultimate heels, the Washington Generals.

Chicago Hoops Against the Nation

This December, basketball fans will have a new local event to watch: the Chicago Elite Basketball Winter Classic, which will pit some of the country's best high school teams against the best locally, including Simeon, Whitney Young and De La Salle.

Chicago vs. Chicago

Craig Robinson and Nick Offerman start the crosstown classic a little early this year.

Chicago vs. Chicago: Round 1 from Nick Offerman

Give it the Old Jazz

Did you know the term "jazz" originated in baseball? The word migrated from sports to music in Chicago with Bert Kelly.

Cubs Home Opener's Today

The Tribune Co. and DirecTV hugged it out, so you'll be able to watch the Cubs home opener on WGN today -- but if you are coming in from the suburbs, out of town for the game, the CTA Tattler has some recommendations for your Red Line ride to the stadium.

T-Shirt Waiting to Happen

The Cubs were once known as the Microbes.

NFL gets new threads

After replacing Reebok as the official supplier of uniforms, Nike and the NFL unveiled a new line of jerseys and gear for each team this week. Check out the Bears' new duds.

A Ballad for Bartman

Rapper Serengeti (of "Dennehy" fame) is back with a new song, just in time for the Cubs' opening day on Thursday: "Don't Blame Steve."


(Thanks, Patrick!)

Skating for a Bruising

Guys, have you wished that you too could play roller derby? Now you can, with the Chicago Bruise Brothers. Practice is on Wednesdays ...in Lombard!?

Documenting "Mr. White Sox"

A documentary about White Sox legend Minnie Minoso is looking for funding on Kickstarter beginning today; the Reader's Ted Cox has more background. (See more local projects on our Kickstarter page.)

Do the Crossword

First, download Sam Worley's puzzle (PDF). Then, grab the solution (also a PDF) and read his account of putting it together.

"Keep Calm and Caray On"

The Heckler expertly blends two memes into one t-shirt.

Thrice as Nice

Apparently, we keep doing something right. Already the first city to host the McDonald's All-American Games in back-to-back years, Chicago was confirmed yesterday for three in a row next year. See Tailgate for a primer on what you'll see tonight at the United Center.

Ubi Est EAMUS CATULI?

Two signs well known to Cubs fans, cheering on the Cubs in Latin and showing how many years since the team has won the division, pennant and World Series, are currently missing from their Sheffield perch. The Trib reports that the Eamus Catuli sign will return, but the numbers may not.

If the numbers return, they should be AC0366103. Here are the signs in 2011, photographed by Niklas Hellerstedt:

The Lakeview Baseball Club, Chicago

Wait Till Next Year Already

Jonathan Eig thinks it's going to be a waste of a season for both the Cubs and the Sox.

Sign Up to Bike the Drive

If the great weather has you thinking about summer activities already, Bike the Drive registration is currently open.

Picking a Chicago Side

ChicagoSide found its undecided baseball fan (previously). It's Sam Roos, a comedian formerly of Maine.

Armstrong's Park District Position

Former Bulls star and current agent of the reigning MVP, BJ Armstrong, has been appointed to the city's Park District Board. "One of Armstrong's duties will be to oversee a renovation project of 100 outdoor basketball courts around the city," the Tribune reports.

Have A Ball (While Fetching Balls) for The Cubs

The Cubs are looking for 4 Ball Boys and Ball Girls for the upcoming season. Applications, which must include a short Youtube video featuring the candidate, are due Monday, March 12 at 11:59:59pm. Click here to apply.

Fighting for Attention

NewCity tells the story of boxer Osumanu Adama and Chicago Fight Club.

Bulls to Win Title, Wink Wink

President Obama backed the Bulls once more in an interview with ESPN last night. During the podcast, he alluded to his possible re-election and included that sometime during his presidency, "it will happen." Considering the possibility that he's not re-elected, this could be the year. Right?

Announcing Bulls Hittin'

We launched a new feature in Tailgate today: Bulls Hittin', a biweekly video "for people who like sports and people who like to hate sports."

D.Rose to Buy Indiana?

The Bulls' Derrick Rose signed an incredible lifetime sponsorship contract with adidas. In Tailgate, Brian Lauvray lists off a few of the things D.Rose can now buy.

Playing that Silver Ball

Miles Raymer reports that rock'n'roll might turn out to be the salvation of the pinball industry.

Cubs or Sox? Choice of a Lifetime

ChicagoSide, Jonathan Eig's new sports blog, is looking for "a young, funny, Chicago newbie who has not yet chosen a favorite local baseball team" to star in a web series about making that choice. There's a casting call at 4pm today and another on Saturday at the Second City Training Center.

Fielding their Dreams

Crain's talks with the Oak Lawn family who bought the Iowa farm and ballpark featured in Field of Dreams.

Bleacher Bums Get Price Bump

The Cubs are using "dynamic pricing," which rises and falls based on demand, for the popular bleacher seats this season. Tickets will range for $17 to $78 apiece. (The White Sox started using the technique last season.)

Running in Full Color

The Color Run adds the fun of Holi, the Indian festival of color, to the typical 5k run.

Jackie Moon Introduces the Bulls

Last night the Bulls played the Hornets down in New Orleans, and both teams were introduced by Will Ferrell, in town to film Dog Fight. The Bulls went on to beat the Hornets 90-67.

Get on Your Bikes

Grid Chicago interviewed a member of Half Acre Cycling about the upcoming Gapers Block Criterium Series coming up in March, and the racing opportunities it opens up for women.

Bear Down to Save Crane

The McCaskeys have joined the fight to save Crane High School, "Papa Bear" George Halas' alma mater, from closure.

Kick Returns

If NFL team names were honest, the Bears would be...

Gridiron Design

The Chicago Bears' logo is slightly reimagined as part of the Gridiron League, a collection of idealized NFL logos. And speaking of, Tailgate just got some sweet new team icons designed by Phineas X. Jones.

Pinball Wizardry

Google UX designer Marcin Wichary was in town recently, and took a tour of Stern Pinball, the last remaining manufacturer of pinball machines in the world. The company just released an AC/DC machine.

Back in the Day Bull Run Over Indiana

A flashback to the Jordan days is one way to shake off the Bulls' first home court loss to their speculated Indiana rivals.

White Mamba for the Win?

The Bulls endured their first loss at home last night to the Indiana Pacers; one that may have been avoided had fan favorite, Brian Scalabrine delivered on a wide open three-point field goal.

"Call me dumb and stupid"

How far would Brian Urlacher go to keep playing football? On HBO's "Real Sports," he admits he's regularly taken the potentially dangerous painkiller Toradol, and says he would lie about having a concussion in order to stay in the game. [via]

Despite the risks, Urlacher is unrepentant. "First of all we love football. We want to be on the field as much as we can be. If we can be out there, it may be stupid, it may be dumb, call me dumb and stupid then because I want to be on the football field."

What the Bull Market Will Bears

Matt McKenna is a Chicago sports fan who writes about American policy for McSweeney's from that perspective. His latest covers how the Bulls' first 10 games influence the S&P 500.

Riding the Wrong Waves

Rex Flodstrom was arrested yesterday for surfing at Oak Street Beach. For the record, surfing is only allowed at 57th Street, Montrose, Osterman and Rainbow beaches during the winter, and only at Montrose and Osterman during the summer.

On Chicago's Side, not MJ's

New sports blog ChicagoSide (previously) doesn't officially go live until April 1, but it's posted a couple teaser stories -- including one about Michael Jordan being a jerk.

D.Rose vs. D.Howard

Derrick Rose and the Bulls take on Dwight Howard and the Magic at 7pm tonight in Orlando, in pursuit of their sixth straight win.

The Chess Party

In A/C, meet some of the people who play checkers and chess at "the world's first folding chess table."

Angelo Out

The Bears fired GM Jerry Angelo today, after the team finished the season 8-8. Coach Lovie Smith is sticking around at least through next season.

Start the New Year by Crossing the Finish

For those staying true to their healthy resolutions this year, the 27th Annual New Year's Day 5K Run/Walk is, figuratively, a good place to start.

Mac Irvin, RIP

McGlother "Mac" Irvin, known as the "godfather" of basketball in Chicago, passed away this weekend. He was 74.

A Look Back at a Rookie's Past

Bulls rookie Jimmy Butler's feel good story of the season.

Throw a Punch Party

Do you dig stage combat? Want to get involved? Then Fight Jam is for you. The next event is tomorrow, Dec. 20, partnered with Asylum Stunts.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 30

Give the gift of esoteric sports. Aloft Loft offers gift certificates for its trapeze classes, registration for Windy City Fencing's 2012 classes is now open, and the Chicago Swordplay Guild's next class session starts in mid-January.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 27

KOKOROKOKO, a vintage shop at 1112 N. Ashland Ave., carries several Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks sweatshirts and tees including this 1985 Bears Super Bowl XX Sweater for $32.

Scottie Sues To Save Face

Scottie Pippen is suing several media outlets for libel, in a suit that claims the outlets produced content stating that the former Bulls star had "lost it all."

City's Got a Brand New Bull

Veteran shooting guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton is the newest addition to the Bulls roster, which will likely keep Brewer on the bench and Bogans on the chopping block.

Scary Straw Men?

The Bears are Scarecrow in Bleacher Report's imagining of NFL teams as Batman characters. Hope that doesn't give too much away.

Eig Plays Ball

Jonathan Eig plans to launch a new sports blog, ChicagoSide, in time for baseball's opening day. He talks to Feder about it.

Santas On Two Wheels

When Santa's not in a sleigh, he's totally a bike winter fan. Don your fuzziest of red hats or your elfiest of shoes and head out to the Santa Rampage bike ride on 12/17 starting at the Twisted Spoke downtown. Only fully-dressed Santas, elves, or dreidels are allowed (homemade costumes are completely fine). Details in Slowdown.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 14

More gifts for the sports fan: Comisky and other bygone teams.

It's Time To Fall Down a Bunch

Millennium Park's ice skating rink is now open for the season, so get out there any try to stay vertical. While you're at it, did you know that it's free if you bring your own skates?

Socially Minded Social Sports

Live to Sport is the city's only charity-driven social sports organization; sign up and a portion of your fee goes to the partner charity of your choice. Its winter dodgeball league starts in January.

Wanna Smash His Pumpkin?

Billy Corgan just opened Resistance Pro, his own "indie wrestling" business.

Cubs Manager Hired

Dale Sveum, the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach, has accepted a three year contract with the team, replacing Mike Quade as manager and chief denier that the team has to "rebuild."

Burning Rubber Under the L

Red Bull stunt motorcyclist Aaron Colton shows off his skills on the dark streets of downtown Chicago [via]

Go Go Cougars

Remember the Chicago Cougars? No? Not surprising, since they were a World Hockey Association team for just three years in the mid-'70s. Their main claim to fame might be bringing about the only major-league championship to be played in Mount Prospect.

The Galloping Ghost

A truly evocative photo of Red Grange, one of the first big stars in the early NFL, running for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Yellowjackets on Dec. 5, 1925. [via]

Wheels of Steel

UIUC alum and Champaign resident Amanda McGrory finished first in the womens pushrim wheelchair race in yesterday's ING New York City Marathon, breaking the existing course record.

Freedom to Ride

The Associated Press visited the Blackstone Bicycle Works, which gives South Side kids an opportunity to work and gain the "freedom" of a set of wheels.

Sweet Deal for Sox Park

The state will be taking a look at the amazing deal White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has that allows him to rent US Cellular Field for next to nothing.

Children's Museum Likely Staying Put

It looks like the Children's Museum's plans to move to Grant Park's Daley Bicentennial Plaza are all but dead now that new renderings for the plaza are complete without a Children's Museum to be found.

Field of Bad Dreams

The Sun-Times tells the tragic tale of the Lake County Fielders.

Na Na Hey Hey, Goodbye

Paul Leka, songwriter best known for writing "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)," the song played at the end of every White Sox win, when the opposing team pulls a pitcher and lots of other times, actually, passed away Oct. 12. He was 68.

Bizarre Homage

Foo-gos.com recreates sports and other logos with food; here's the Blackhawks logo made out of hotdogs, pickles, mushrooms, sauerkraut and ketchup. [via]

foogoshawks.jpg

Just a Wrestling Mat in a Cage

Billy Corgan has started a pro wrestling league, with its first match at Excaliber Nov. 25. He did the morning show rounds today, talking about the league, its commitment to concussion awareness, and his show with the Smashing Pumpkins this weekend at the Riv.

Chasing Another At-Bat

Jonathan Eig tells the story of Adam Greenberg, a former Cubs player who was hit by a pitch in his first major league at-bat, in this month's Chicago magazine.

Talk About Being an Overachiever

Amber Miller ran yesterday's Chicago Marathon. Last night, she gave birth to a daughter.

'Twas the Night Before the Marathon...

You can watch a nice documentary on the Chicago Marathon for free on Hulu to get you pumped for tomorrow.

Bull Bucks

Actually, Luol Fivers: The Bulls' Luol Deng is featured on the latest version of the Brixton five-pound note, part of that south London neighborhood's local currency initiative.

Guillen to Ventura

Robin Ventura is back in a White Sox jersey, this time as manager. Ventura played third base for much of his career with the Sox right next to Ozzie Guillen at shortstop.

Track that Runner

How D-Tags, the RFID chips that track Chicago Marathon runners, work.

Hope Springs Eternal

It's a couple years old, but Vertigo Comics' Hellblazer #250 includes a supernatural story about the Cubs curse. [via]

A Rose Around the Ring

Adidas' latest iteration of Derrick Rose shoes, the adiRose 2.0, debut Thursday, Oct. 6 at Footlocker. In the new commercial for the shoes, Rose breaks for the hoop against several defending bullfighters.

That's Me in the Corner

Deadspin wonders how infamous Cub fan Steve Bartman has managed to live in anonymity so successfully following his gaffe nearly eight years ago at the MLB playoffs.

A September to Remember

Depending on the next couple games, the Red Sox could unseat the 1969 Cubs for worst September collapse ever.

"Basketball Controversies" Controversies

The Reader's recent piece about basketball courts and crime is at 75 comments and counting.

Farewell to Ozzie

The Ozzie Guillen era of the White Sox ended last night. Guillen asked for more money and the Sox weren't willing to meet his demands and released him from his contract. A post that appeared briefly on Guillen's blog said he's heading to the Marlins.

Onward, to the Next "Recreation Frontier!"

The city is planning on building four $4 million boathouses on the Chicago River at Clark Park, Ping Tom Memorial Park, River Park and between Loomis and Fuller on Eleanor.

Wear your Pride

Chitown Clothing has some fairly witty sports-themed t-shirts.

Major Downtown Gym Closes, Perhaps Temporarily

Lakeshore Athletic Club, Chicago's craziest looking gym, is closed after its electricity was turned off for nonpayment. An announcement on its website indicates it'll reopen at an unknown date, but it's also well underwater on its mortgage, so we'll see how that goes.

Chicago's Beep Baseball Team

Chicago magazine takes a look at the Comets -- the city's beep baseball team. It's a sport played by the blind using a beeping softball, with players ten times as tough as any in MLB.

Old Style (Kinda) Hearts the Cubs

It looks like Old Style is staying with Wrigley Field after all ... at least until the 2013 season, that is.

Chicagoan in the US Open

Chicago-born Donald Young made it to the top 16 in the US Open this weekend. He's playing the fourth-ranked player in the world, Andy Murray, today for a chance at the quarter-finals. But he almost didn't get this far. (Thanks, Aaron!)

Not Bad, Mr. Mayor!

Mayor Emanuel ranked 8th out of the 90 competitors in his triathlon age group.

Solving Siting a Skatepark

It doesn't look like Mayor Daley's proposed 24-hour skatepark at 17th and Clark is going to happen, but the park district will be putting together a "citywide skate park master plan" to look at future park locations.

CHIRP Wins! CHIRP Wins! CHIRP Wins!

The conclusion of a fierce summer softball league involving a bevy of radio stations and publications produced a title-holder this evening: CHIRP beat WBEZ in a 7-4 match. Congrats to all of those who left their computer monitors to interact with real human beings, if only for a few hours...

Rebuilding the Cubs

Grantland delves into what comes next for the Cubs. Hint: Pujols may not be involved.

Spelling Isn't Our Strong Suit

Good news: The Cubs finally pulled the plug on Jim Hendry's tenure as general manager. Bad news: The Cubs can't spell "general manager" right.

Hendry Out

The Cubs just fired their general manager.

Bears Wear

Football season is almost here: Strange Cargo has some fun new tees to help you bear down.

Historic Sports Fandom

"My t-shirt? It's for the Duffy Florals. You've probably never heard of them." It's rare that sports fans get to play the hipster superiority card, but Peoples Garment Co. helps make it happen. (Duffy Floral, the team's sponsor, still exists, incidentally.)

Blackhawks Field Hockey Uniform?

What would the Blackhawks' jerseys look like if they played soccer instead of hockey? A redditor has an idea.

blackhawks_as_soccerjersey.jpg

The Jammed Fingers of History

We're in the thick of the season for most leagues, so now is as good a time as any to link to the Chicago 16 Inch Softball Hall of Fame.

Snoop's for the Kids

Snoop Dogg was in town over the weekend to help launch the new Chicago branch of his youth football league

Out with the Old Style

Rumor has it that Old Style wants to drop its 61 year association with the Cubs.

RB to MBA

The NFL lockout just ended, but Phoenix Arizona Cardinals running back Jason Wright is apparently still opting for the backup plan: the former Northwestern Wildcat retired to enroll at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

How Many Soccer Fields Equal 26.2 Miles?

Cheer on U.S. Womens Soccer Team members Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan on October 9 as they run the Chicago Marathon as part of a charity team.

Mind Destroyers

Researchers continue to delve into the lasting effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the disease that affected Bears start Dave Duerson and led to his suicide.

Pay Up On Your Bets

Governor Quinn is saying he will fulfill the wager he made in January with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker before the start of the next football season. Hopefully he's assuming the lockout will be over by the start of the 2011 season.

Free Swingers

One big reason the Cubs and White Sox have so disappointed this season is they're loaded with hitters who will swing at anything. It's baseball with bubble graphs!

Power Outage = Free Soccer

Power is still out at Toyota Park, so the Fire's match tonight has been moved up to 5pm -- and both admission and parking are free. [via]

Watch the Chicago Force in the Playoffs

The Force head into the playoffs undefeated -- and are up against the defending champions the Boston Militia in tonight's game up in Evanston. If you can't make it for the 6pm game, you can watch it live online.

Surfing the Third Coast

There's plenty of info and inspiration on the No Salt Surf website to get you riding Lake Michigan's breaks. The XRT blog sums it up.

Down but not Out

In Tailgate, Brian Livingston assesses the Cubs' chances of making the playoffs. Sure, they're practically nil, but there's always that glimmer of hope...

Royko Knocks One Out

An oldie but a goodie: Royko at the Goat, a short film of Mike Royko telling stories about 16-inch softball. Now with a preface from cinematographer Scott Jacobs.


There's a media league playing today -- head over to Trebes Park on Monday and Thursday nights this month to catch Gapers Block, Chicagoist, RedEye, Time Out, CHIRP, WBEZ, The
Reader, WSJ, WCIU and ChicagoNow battle it out on the dirt diamond. We play at 6 and 7pm.

Volunteer de Fat

The Tour de Fat returns to Chicago July 16, benefiting West Town Bikes, and volunteers are needed; give'em a hand.

One Good Deed

Did you hear the one about Bulls forward Kyle Korver, a rock radio DJ and an injured, 20-pound turtle? Our man was equal parts Good Samaritan and Dr. Doolittle.

A Three Hour Tour

Three and a half hours, actually, in this timelapse video by Philip Bloom aboard a yacht traveling the coast and the Chicago River. (Thanks, Chris!)

Chicago by boat: A timelapse journey from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Lockout Hits NBA Websites

If you love NBA coaches, mascots and dance teams, be sure to check out Bulls.com now that the league-wide labor shutdown means team websites can't even mention the players.

Giant Killer

Cubs fans at Wrigley Field love throwing back opponents' home run balls, but yesterday's doubleheader featured a throw for the ages that nearly hit San Francisco's Miguel Tejada on the fly as he trotted around the bases. And yes, everyone's already made the obligatory "Rookie of the Year" reference. [via]

True Hoop Dreams

The Bulls' first-round draft pick, Jimmy Butler, is a rags to riches story rarely seen in pro sports today..

Hawks Have Your Back

They didn't win anything at last night's NHL awards show, but the Blackhawks can take solace in their star power. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, in jersey sales this season, trailing only Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Marian Hossa (16) and Patrick Sharp (19) also made the list.

Hockey Players as Kids

Our new favorite Tumblr blog. Because you know you want to see childhood photos of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and the rest of the Blackhawks.

Gridiron Deal Hammered Out Here

Chicago is the setting for the meeting of NFL team owners to decide whether we'll be ready for some football this fall.

Cubs Unveil 'It Gets Better' Video

Announced a few weeks ago, the Cubs' contribution to the "It Gets Better" project debuted today, starring second baseman Darwin Barney, outfielder Marlon Byrd, pitcher Ryan Dempster, manager Mike Quade, first base coach Bob Dernier and co-owner Laura Ricketts. (h/t SB Nation)

Back Again For More

Good job, Chicago. We did so well hosting the McDonald's All-American Games in March that they're coming back to the United Center next year. We'll be the first city to host the nation's premier high school basketball all-star games in consecutive years.

Cubs Set for Wrigleyville Block Party

The Cubs have reached a compromise with local officials to hold "block parties" on three big weekends this summer -- starting this weekend as the New York Yankees come to town. They won't block off Sheffield Avenue after all.

23 is 32

Devin Hester was ranked the 32nd best player in the NFL by the players themselves. Fellow Bears Brian Urlacher ranked 49th and Lance Briggs was 92nd. Hester's high ranking has stirred up controversy among pundits and fans.

Not About the Game

Dave Eggers writes about not watching the game not in Wrigley over at the new Grantland (which, despite its familiar-looking masthead, is not a Crain's publication.)

Walk for the Animals

The Red Door Animal Shelter sponsors its annual Gimme Shelter! benefit walk for homeless animals this Sunday from 10am-noon at at Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt. Food, entertainment, and a pet psychic are part of the fun.

Skip the Scalpers

Got One, Need One is an iPhone app that helps you find tickets or get rid of extras day-of without the need of middlemen. That is, if you can find other people using the app.

His Legoness, Michael Jordan

Tauntr recreated the five greatest NBA finals moments with Lego, including Michael Jordan's last shot in game six of the 1998 finals against the Jazz.

And here's the source footage:

88 Years of Cubbies

Speaking of baseball, Ronny Woo-Woo may get all the press, but Gladys Nunley, aka Gladys the Cubs Fan, has been doing it for a lot longer.

Take Me Out to the Concert

America's favorite pastime gets the rock'n'roll treatment with The Baseball Project, a supergroup that includes REM's Peter Buck. They're playing at the Cubby Bear on Monday, paying homage in song to the sport's greatest heroes -- and the Cubs' 100+ years without a World Series win.

Bush Nearly Beaned

A pop-foul ball -- and AJ Pierzynski -- nearly landed in President George W. Bush's lap at last night's White Sox-Rangers game.

VIDEO: Foul ball lands near President Bush: MyFoxORLANDO.com

Homophobes are Losers

After getting his second foul of tonight's playoff game against the Miami Heat, Bulls center Joakim Noah made Chicago proud and screamed "fuck you, faggot," to a heckling fan sitting behind him (video). The Bulls lost 96-85, and the Heat now has a 2-1 lead in the series. UPDATE: Noah has (sort of) apologized for his comments. UPDATE 2: And he's been fined $50,000.

The Soxtown Revolution

Sun-Times columnist Joe Cowley continues to advance his vision of a Chicago that values the (usually) competitive White Sox over the "lovable loser" Cubs.

Playing at the Unicode Center

Two current trends come together: Twitter sparklines and the Bulls. [via]

Hometown Hero

In honor of the Bulls' continued rampage through the playoffs, YouTube user SouthSideCrusade set some Derrick Rose highlight reel moments to local rapper Arrogant's song "Hometown."


[via]

Marathon Winner Wanjiru Dead at 24

Kenyan Sammy Wanjiru, who won the 2009 and 2010 Chicago Marathon, died after a fall from a balcony at his home.

Brew-lanthropy

Bouncing back from last year's fire, Blackstone Bicycle Works is the first recipient of Seattle's Best Coffee new Brew-lanthropy Award. Blackstone won a break room makeover, a filmed documentary, $5000, and a year's supply of coffee and hot chocolate, for the kids who don't want to stunt their growth.

Beat the Heat

Can Derrick Rose and the Bulls get past LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat? The NBA Eastern Conference Finals tips off Sunday night at the United Center and we've got nine thoughts to get you started.

D-Rose & Other Hot Sauces

Chitown Clothing has cool shirts and hoodies for all your favorite local teams, but you're probably going to want to take a look at their Bulls designs right about now.

Oprah > Derrick Rose

The Bulls are one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals, but there could be a scheduling problem: The United Center is unavailable Monday night so Oprah's crew can set up for Tuesday's taping of her final show.

Today in T-shirts

The official "Derrick Rose MVP" T-shirts have hit the market, but it's hard to beat Nike's new "Hair-itage" collection of hirstute baseball players, including '80s vintage Andre Dawson and Ozzie Guillen.

Duerson's Battered Brain

Former Bears safety Dave Duerson was confirmed to have brain disease caused by severe trauma, according to the autopsy analysis he requested in his suicide note earlier this year. The Miami New Times has an excellent profile of Duerson. [via]

D-Rose MVP

Derrick Rose was named MVP last night. For the record, we called this one back in January.

Ex-Bear Had Brain Damage

Dave Duerson was right. He did have "moderately advanced" brain damage related to blows to the head, according to researchers who studied the former Bears safety's brain after he committed suicide in February.

Some Red and Black Earns Red Velvet

Wear your Bulls gear and head into Sprinkles Cupcakes on Tuesday, May 3rd for a free cupcake! Fans sporting some swag get a red velvet treat that's sure to inspire some team spirit. The offer is good at the 50 E. Walton St. store from 9am-8pm tomorrow.

The Bear Jew

What do you think, Chicago? Is that a good nickname for Bears draft pick and good Jewish boy Gabe Carimi? He's 6 feet 7, 314 pounds, and he apparently likes "Inglourious Basterds." And it's his idea.

Gimme That Hot Sauce

Just in time for the playoffs: staceyshirts, featuring Stacey King's many catchphrases. (Thanks, Daniel!)

Riding Bikes on Friday

It's a great day for a bike ride -- and it just happens to be Critical Mass tonight. How convenient! Frequent GB contributor John Greenfield wrote a song to celebrate.

The song was recorded at Kidical Mass earlier this month. Kidical Mass is for the younger cyclists and their parents, and takes place on the second Saturday of every month. More info on thechainlink.org.

Making Grant Park Even Greener

The south end of Grant Park may get a farmers market this summer run by the same folks as the Ogilvie Station French Market.

Red Stars Return

The Red Stars made their return official yesterday: they're now part of the Women's Premier Soccer League, and expect to return to the field in 2012.

Cubs Get Some Real Talent

Two members of the Arcade Fire sang the seventh-inning stretch at a Cubs game. You know who they are, right?

Red Stars Return

Looks like we might have women's professional soccer this summer after all. Four months after they suspended operations for the 2011 season, the Chicago Red Stars tweeted this afternoon that they're back: "We'll be playing this summer. Stay tuned."

Gulls in the Outfield

The Cardinals are not the only birds the Cubs will be fending off this season.

Stars on Cards

What are your favorite baseball card memories? Tailgate contributor Cee Angi says they transformed her childhood.

I Think He's Already On Another Team

Shaz Rasul spotted a shirt featuring an unlikely member of the Bulls: Wolverine.

Making Gretzky's Head Bleed

Blackhawks fans all over town were laughing at Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo during last night's 7-2 win. The Tribune caught Vince Vaughn doing it from the front row.

Chicago in the NBA Playoffs

The Bulls won their first game against the Pacers in the playoffs Saturday. But even if you're not a Bulls fan, you've got some Chicagoans to root for.

The Black Cubs?

Were the 1918 Cubs paid to throw the World Series the year before the infamous "Black Sox"? Maybe so, Joe.

Alaska to Argentina on a Bicycle. Check!

Chicago's own Matt Kelly is finally back home after a perilous journey starting in Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska all the way down to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina on his bike. Yes, just a regular bike folks. After 21 months and 17,.500 miles, welcome home Matt! You can look back at his adventure through Western Hemisphere here.

Want a Balloon?

As the top-seeded Bulls get ready to open the NBA playoffs against Indiana, Derrick Rose has already given diehard Pacers fans a costume idea, confessing to Sarah Spain that he's terrified of killer clowns. Well, who isn't?

Frank Thomas and the Bombed Bat

Baseball Nation debates the symbolism behind one of the stranger baseball cards ever printed.

Baseball, Booze & Autographs

Chicago earned a few mentions when MLB players told ESPN about their favorite and least favorite road trips. According to two rival players, we've got autograph hounds who will chase a player down Michigan Avenue, but Cubs fans are too busy drinking to recognize opposing players.

Tumblin' Rose

Of course there's a F*ck Yeah Derrick Rose tumblr. Joakim Noah doesn't get quite as much love.

Fore on Wabash

It's almost golf season. Office-dwellers in the Loop can sneak away for a "meeting" at Play 18 Chicago, the city's first indoor range.

Derrick Rose Joins the Campaign

Eight months after Barack Obama hosted him on the White House basketball court, Derrick Rose is welcoming the president back to their hometown. The Bulls star and NBA MVP front-runner will attend the biggest (and least expensive) of three Obama fund-raisers set for Thursday in Chicago. Tickets for the 6:30pm event at Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom are $100 and $250.

Forget Me Not

Relive the good old days with Chicago Magazine's "Where Are They Now?" feature on Willie Gault, Turk Wendell, Ron Kittle, Andrea Jaeger, Luc Longley and a dozen more former Chicago athletes.

Sometimes You Just Know

SBNation's Andrew Sharp suggests looking beyond the stats when considering the Bulls' Derrick Rose for MVP. We've been saying that for months now.

Hawks in Haiku

A much-needed win
Blackhawks keep playoff hopes alive
Seen here in haiku

The Game of the Rose

What might the cover of NBA Elite 12 look like if Derrick Rose is MVP? Here's your answer.

derrick_rose_elite_12.jpg
Cover concept by Ziare Smith. More here.

America's Beer Garden

Wrigley Field "attendance was more than four times more sensitive to beer prices than to winning or losing," UofC economist Tobias Moskowitz and Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim find in their new book, Scorecasting.

Sidd Finch Today

On Friday the Tribune caught up with Joe Berton, the guy who portrayed Sidd Finch in photos for George Plimpton's legendary April Fool's hoax story about a pitcher with a 168mph fastball.

Cubs Fans in the Bleachers

Can't watch the game? Watch "Bleacher Bums," a 1979 teleplay last broadcast in 1984. [via]

102 & Counting

It's opening day at Wrigley, and the Onion Sports Network is there to cover the Cubs.

Grand Slam Poetry

Levi Stahl shares baseball-inspired poetry in honor of opening day.

Don't be L.A.T.E.

You've got until tomorrow, March 31 to get the extreme early bird registration rate for this year's L.A.T.E. Ride. The ride itself is July 9/10.

Throwback Jersey

Even Michael Jordan is getting excited about tomorrow night's McDonald's All-American Games at the United Center. Photo from this afternoon:

DSC_0217.JPG

The British Are Coming

We're not sure when the NFL will return to Soldier Field, but you can see the other kind of football there July 23 when the Chicago Fire hosts Manchester United, the biggest soccer team in the world. It's part of the annual World Football Challenge, which will also feature fellow European giant FC Barcelona and other MLS teams.

ISO Class 3 Mage

NearbyGamers will help you find someone to fill in on that Settlers of Catan game or your next WoW quest.

Dog Park and Jazz Finally Together

A new South Loop dog park may be named after jazz icon Fred Anderson.

Sha-nana-nah, Hey Hey Hey

As Sox fans say goodbye to organist Nancy Faust, they'll be getting to know Lori Moreland.

Cubs' Losing Ticket

At least some of this year's Cubs tickets have a somewhat dated photo of the Wrigley Field scoreboard on them -- featuring Corey Patterson up to bat in 2004. Adding insult to injury, the Cubs lost that game against the Cardinals. (Thanks, Veronica!)

Good Clean Muddy Fun

The Mud Queens of Chicago wrestle tonight at the Viaduct Theater; A.V. Club profiles the wrestlers. UPDATE: And check out our Mud Queens feature in Tailgate.

Final Farewell

The closest Chicago had to local teams in the NCAA Basketball Tournament-- Illinois and Notre Dame -- both got knocked out Sunday.

Super Size My Marathon

A Palatine man ran today's Los Angeles Marathon in an impressive two hours and 36 minutes. His secret? He ate nothing but McDonald's for the last 30 days.

Adidas Turns Spotlight on Derrick Rose

Sportswear-maker Adidas has assembled a star-studded lineup for its largest marketing campaign ever. Chicago native and Bulls guard Derrick Rose made the cut. [via]

Tailor Made For March

Feeling left out of the March Madness excitement, Loyola fans? Celebrate a more glorious era in your school's basketball history with this T-shirt honoring Loyola's 1963 NCAA champions. Bonus street cred: They played a big role integrating college athletics, three years before the famed Texas Western champions of 1966.

Something to Write in One's Journal

Coudal's Field Notes is sponsoring Ben Saunders as he tries to reach the Geographic North Pole on foot and without support, and he's gunning for the speed record while doing it. You can follow his journey on his website.

United States of X: Cycling Edition

The United States Bicycle Route Map from the Adventure Cycling Association includes several local routes -- and indirectly leads to the League of Illinois Bicyclists. [via]

A Pain in the Glass

Sun-Times photographer Tom Cruze got a little too involved in the action on the ice at the Blackhawks' game on February 20th, and his fellow photographer Nuccio DiNuzzo caught the moment in a snap. Like a true pro, he was back at work after some quick medical attention.

Mellowing With Age

Twenty-eight years after his infamous rant about Wrigley Field fans (e.g., "Eighty-five percent of the fuckin' world is working. The other 15 come out here.") former Cubs manager Lee Elia can laugh about his place among the great meltdowns in baseball history.

Wrigleyville's Newest Resident

Cubs fans shouldn't have too much trouble finding manager Mike Quade this summer: He plans to live two blocks from Wrigley Field and walk to work every day. [via]

Now Batting...

The Cubs are looking for a new public address announcer. Think you've got what it takes? Apply here by March 7.

Speeding to Victory or Spinning its Wheels?

In NewCity this week, occasional GB contributor John Greenfield examines the likelihood that the planned Chicago Velo Campus will be completed by 2013.

Bike Crash Map

Urban planner Steve Vance mapped all the bike accidents in Chicago reported to IDOT from 2007 to 2009. More about his process and why he decided to do it. [via, via]

How UIC (Unofficially) Fields a Table Tennis Team

The Flame goes behind the scenes at the UIC Table Tennis Club.

The CAT and the Bat

Back in 2003, Sammy Sosa's bat exploded during a game. Why? It was corked. The newest development in the story is that after Harry Carray's purchased the bat when it resurfaced in 2010, its management had the bat CAT scanned to see additional detail of the corking process.

On Shooting Chicago's Boxers

In Tailgate, Jim Reedy interviews Jason Reblando about his photography documenting the city's amateur boxing clubs. See the photos up close at Harold Washington College through Friday. UPDATE: If you miss the show this week, Jason says it also will be at the Canale Art Lounge April 1.

Ladies Who Sometimes Brunch and Often Bike

If you're a lady who likes to bike, and want to meet up with like-minded women, check out Let's Go Ride a Bike.

Best Existential Brooding

Frank Thomas makes an appearance in the Baseball Card Hall of Fame.

Grocery Carts, Start Your Engines

More than 60 teams have already registered for this year's Chiditarod, happening March 5.

Enjoying a Windy Day with a Kite

... and a board. [via]


Danke Schoen

If you have an Internet connection and a functioning cerebral cortex, you've seen plenty of amusingly overthought Ferris Bueller diversions in your day. Here's one more: The baseball nerds claim to have figured out what Cubs game Ferris and the gang attended on their fateful day off. [via]

Sox Bies? Sox Bres? Sox Bi[t]es?

Someone scrawled something on the Wrigley Field Harry Caray statue, but there's some ambiguity about what it actually says.

The Refrigerator Broke Down

A less happy tale from the '85 Bears: How 'The Fridge' lost his way.

United States of X: Beer & Football Edition

Two maps relevant to today's big event: The United States of Football and beer consumption in the U.S.

Thank You, Jim McMahon

Speaking of the Super Bowl, GQ this week reminds us all of the one Super Bowl Week that wasn't a bore. [via]

How to Super Bowl for Hipsters

The NPR folks behind "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" are working on a new podcast called "How to Do Everything." In this pilot piece, they give tips on how to fake knowing anything about football during the Super Bowl this Sunday.


LSD Closed

...for Bike the Drive, that is, May 29. Your last chance for discounted registration is Feb. 6.

Un-Pack-ing Our Love of the Steelers

In this week's Drive-Thru feature, we plan for what we'll be making this Sunday--the fine, fine foods of Pittsburgh.

What a Tool

Growing Pangs made a mission to construct a unique snow sculpture in the Viagra Triangle last night.

SNOW-SHREDA-MAGEDDON

Jake Zalutsky gave the blizzard a bear hug with his board last night. Insane? Awesome? Or both? [via spigumus]

Wrigley Field Takes a Hit

Looks like the blizzard has knocked loose a Wrigley Field roof panel.

Cubs in Hibernation

All clear for now, but you might want to check CubWorld's Clark & Addison webcam later to see if the Wrigley Field marquee is buried in a mountain of snow.

Alfonso Soriano to Carlos Zambrano

In Tailgate, Jeff Brodsky predicts the Cubs' future from A to Z.

The Case of the Missing Puck

Seven months after the Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup, no one has any idea what happened to the puck used to score the cup-winning goal. But that isn't stopping the CEO of Harry Caray's. He wants the trinket for his Navy Pier location and he's getting help in his quest from the Chicago FBI office.

Bill Murray Strikes Again

This time, while heckling a Packers fan at last Sunday's game.

Derrick Rose Gets Royal Treatment

Two weeks after he sent Bears fans into a spasm of defensiveness with a searing evisceration of quarterback Jay Cutler, ESPN columnist Rick Reilly returns with a soaring ode to Chicago's newest all-star, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, a hometown boy who apparently is everything Cutler is not. Never let it be said that the 11-time National Sportswriter of the Year doesn't enjoy an overly simplistic fable.

It's a Bird, It's a Plane

Have you seen Chicago's newest superhero, The Blackhawk?

Bulls Stay Platinum

Forbes ranks the Chicago Bulls third behind the Knicks and Lakers on its annual list of the most valuable NBA franchises. Purchased by Jerry Reinsdorf for $16 million in 1985, the Bulls are now worth $511 million. They had the league's second-highest operating income last season, $51 million. All these numbers are the same as last year. [via]

Tabloid Drama for Bulls' Boozer

Love the Chicago Bulls -- and shameless celebrity gossip? You'll want to check out Life & Style magazine's exclusive report on the new "Bachelor" contestant who says she had an affair with then-married Bulls star Carlos Boozer nearly two years ago. Conspiracy theorists positing a connection to the hand injury Boozer suffered "at home" last fall will want to note that the alleged affair supposedly happened in 2009. [UPDATE: Theorists respond.]

Show Your Pride/Know Your Enemy

Starting today, you can order Cubs specialty license plates for your car. You could already get Blackhawks plates; no word on when Bears, Sox or Fire plates will debut.

"Remove the tie, or you're fired."

What kind of tie will get you fired at Webb Chevrolet? A Packers tie.

Jarrett Payton Sounds Off on Cutler

Our newest contributor, former NFL running back Jarrett Payton, had a few thoughts to get off his chest tonight about Jay Cutler, Bears fans' new whipping boy.

Talk a Good Game

Speaking of Kickstarters, here's one for a conversation-starting game called "the question is."

Light a Candle Instead, Guys

After the Bears' loss to Green Bay earlier tonight, some angry fans expressed themselves with lighters and Jay Cutler's jersey.

Bearmaggedon vs. the Apackalypse

We've got incisive football analysis, if that's what you're into, but more likely you just want to read about a giant fire-breathing bear cake and mouth off about the big game.

We're in Hell Right Now, Gentlemen

NPR's Carl Kasell reads the pregame pep talk from Any Given Sunday.

The Highway 50 Division

If you're not a football fan, you may not know the long history of the Chicago-Green Bay rivalry.

Don that Helmet! Ride that Bike!

Don't forget: today is Winter Bike to Work Day!

Upping the Ante

If the Bears win this Sunday, Obama is going to the Super Bowl.

Cancel the Revolution

Wait, you mean it was all a PR stunt? Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said last month the conference might listen to public opinion and change its silly new football division names -- "Legends" and "Leaders" -- but that appears to have come to nothing.

On the Ropes

Ever wonder what it's be like to a pro wrestler's girlfriend?

High School Hoops on the Rebound

John Lucas, a former minor league basketball star, has helped vault his alma mater to the top of its division. Etheria Modacure tells his story in Tailgate.

Da Vest

Just in time for the playoffs (tickets go on sale at 10am), you can now get Ditka's famous Bears sweatervest.

Causing Trouble

The Red Eye wants to re-write the "Super Bowl Shuffle" for this year's Bears, in case they make it all the way. Feels like a jinx to me.

New Year's Eve Mass

Oh yes, Critical Mass is rolling tonight, leaving Daley Plaza at 6pm. Keep your eye on MassUp.Us for details.

"Happy Canoe Year!"

If you're looking for New Year's Day activities, you may be interested in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's 26th annual canoe ride down the Chicago River.

We Three Kings of Chicago Sports Are

The Fineprint lionizes Toews, Noah and Hester. [via]

Somebody's Celebrating the Bears with Sparklers

That's what sparklers were made for, right?

Papa Bear T-Shirt

Designer David Schwen created a great tribute to the Bears' iconic coach Ditka.

That Howling Sound: Ohio State Fans

Avoiding Ohio State football fans is usually a good idea, but it's especially important this holiday season. They're all riled up because the NCAA suspended five Buckeyes, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, for selling their own jerseys and other memorabilia. Yes, the same NCAA that declined to punish Heisman winner Cam Newton.

Bears Win NFC North

This photo pretty much sums up the game.

Bike Dancers Wanted

Ladies, do you like to ride bikes and dance? If so, The Racketeers BMX dance troupe is looking for some new recruits.

Not So Fast, My Friend

In an unusual move representing the triumph of democracy and/or corporate ass-covering, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said today the conference might reconsider "Legends" and "Leaders," the widely mocked names unveiled four days ago for its new football divisions. Audio at WGNRadio.com.

Layer Tennis Championships

Chicago's own Mig Reyes made it to the Layer Tennis Championships -- tune in at 1pm to see him play Romaninan Noper. And get a load of the coin flip this week, featuring several women you may recognize.

Kid K's Komeback

Kerry Wood is a Cub once more. For a year, anyway.

Ozzie Claus

The White Sox are offering a special deal on a ticket package named after manager Ozzie Guillen. And who better to promote it than Ozzie himself? Actually, probably quite a few people.

Chicago Red Stars Suspend Operations

The women's soccer league, citing insufficient funds, hopes to find new investors and start again in 2012.

The Big Dozen's New Logo

The Big Ten unveiled its new logo yesterday, along with a realignment of its divisions now that there are 12 teams. In Tailgate, Jim Reedy isn't thrilled.

Chicago's Indie Video Game Darling

In Tailgate, Fruzsina Uordogh interviews local video game designer Erin Robinson about her entry into video game design and getting more women involved in the industry.

An Ocean of Good

Jenn Gibbons is planning to row across the Atlantic Ocean in January 2012 to raise money and awareness for Recovery on Water, a rowing club for breast cancer survivors we profiled in Tailgate earlier this year.

Same as it Ever Was

Newly elected Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios went ahead and hired his son and sister, who worked for him in his previous job, confirming that nepotism lives on in our great city.

R.I.P., Ron Santo

The former Cub and Cubs announcer has passed away.

A "Top Five" Bar Night of the Year is ...

Thanksgiving Eve?

Bears Fan Climbs Field Museum's Brachiosaur

"Bad Bears Fan! BAD! We do not climb the museum's dinosaurs. No! This is why we can't have the triceratops fossils out in the foyer anymore."

Bulls in Your Inbox

The Bulls Fan Report officially launched today, delivering Bulls details to your inbox daily.

I Skate, You Skate, We All Skate

It's getting colder, but you can actually enjoy the winter weather while gliding around on a smooth sheet of ice (and I don't mean while driving down your street). Up Chicago has a great little roundup of local (mostly free) ice skating rinks, which do exist outside of the Loop, you know. (via)

Wrigley Football Madness

The upcoming Northwestern-Illinois game at Wrigley Field is kind of a big deal: ESPN's "GameDay" will be covering it live, and the stadium's iconic marquee is being painted Northwestern purple.

Slow and Steady

Need some help taking it easy today? Check out this footage of turtle racing at likable Ravenswood dive Big Joe's.

Skating Past the Physics Board

The Reader's cover story this week is about Yung Tae Kim, aka Dr. Tae, your favorite skateboarding physicist.

Cubscast Closed by MLB

Cubscast, Soxcast and the rest of Sportscast's baseball podcasts have been shut down by Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

Limited Athletic Opportunities for Female CPS Students Alleged

The National Women's Law Center has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against the Chicago Public Schools and another 11 districts for Title IX violations.

Riding Up the Branch

The North Branch Bicycle Trail will be extended another 4.2 miles to the east end of LaBagh Woods [PDF].

Skating Pretty

Hey rollergirls of Chicago -- Dr. Hauschka Skin Care wants to give you a 20% discount on their holistic, natural skin care products.

Call it Money Ball

We've got an examination of campaign contributions from the sports world in Mechanics.

Find a Partner & Saddle Up

Registration for the 2010 Sadie Hawkins Ride is now open.

Owner in the Outfield

Cubs owner Todd Ricketts is going to be on CBS's "Undercover Boss."

Don't Call Her Gumby, Dammit

Dana "Pokey" Chatman was named general manager and head coach of the Sky today.

Better than a Bumper Sticker

Blackhawks fans can now wear their pride on their license plates. The official BH plates will cost you an extra $40

Ring Halloween in a Little Early Tonight

...with blood wrestling at the Viaduct Theater. Yep, blood.

Spectacular Move by Jordan

Speaking of moments captured, two of Michael Jordan's make Sports Illustrated Joe Posnanski's list of 32 great calls by sports announcers.

Running Commentary

As Jacqui Cheng says, "It's hard to believe that the "Twitter 5K" is a real thing, but it is."

7 Years Bad Luck

In Tailgate, The Turncoat marks the anniversary of the Steve Bartman Incident.

Behind the Scenes at the Chicago Marathon

When marathon runners aren't running, they're hanging out with waterproof belts and banks at the marathon expo.

Indoor Sports Option: Archery

Despite the warm weekend, it's time to start think about indoor sports for the cold months ahead. If bowling sounds boring, how about archery?

Cork Uncorked

Remember that time Sammy Sosa used a corked bat? Remember how it disappeared? The bat is back—this time on the auction block. So who's had it all this time? Former Cub pitcher Mike Remlinger.

Marathon Heating Up

Cheaters aren't the only thing on marathoners' minds: We might see weather in the 80s on Sunday.

Surveillance for Sprinters

Speaking of the Marathon, the Trib looks at how the organizers catch cheaters.

Second To No Other Sports Town

Sporting News named Chicago (and Evanston) the best sports town of 2010.

Why Ryan Hall Isn't Running

Ryan Hall announced yesterday that he's pulling out of the Chicago Marathon. He posted an explanation today.

Great Balls of Fire

A colossally sized Super Mario Bros. skirmish took place at Toyota Park on Saturday thanks to the Chicago Fire supporters known as Section 8.

So, Which is It?

WCIU's Cat vs. Dog competition today forces you to decide: are you more loyal to cats or dogs, or to Bears or Packers? (Thanks, Steve!)

It's Only 65 Floors

Lake Point Tower isn't that tall. You could totally take the stairs to the top.

Can You Summarize That for Me?

Dave Cihla started up a new Cubs fan site, Cubs Under Quade, which he describes as the "...most informative, insightful & engaging sports site out there." It's certainly to the point.

Mobile Marketing Meets a Zamboni

Local mobile advertising firm Vibes Media and the Blackhawks get shout-outs in a NY Times piece about the blossoming market for sports themed mobile device applications.

Traitor Against Cubkind

Rick Abplanalp, Tailgate's Turncoat, is interviewed in this week's Time Out about his switch of allegiance.

Pads and Bikinis

Wait, the Lingerie Football League made it to a second season? Yes it did, and Time Out has photos from the Bliss' season opener.

Skating & Blogging

The Boardmen cover skateboarding in Chicago.

Halo: Stretch!

The White Sox' Brent Lillibridge was up last night, waiting for the biggest game of the year.

Blackstone Bicycle Works Burned Again

The Blackstone Bicycle Works has been a victim of a fire for the second time in 10 years [right side of screen]. This time their building was spared, but they lost 400 bikes. If you'd like to help them rebuild, you can make a donation to the group through their website.

Bear Down

The Bears somehow didn't lose to the Lions yesterday. Brian Lauvray has the gory details in his latest Footballic Ramblings.

Designing Layers

Tomorrow's Layer Tennis match will feature hometown hero Scott Thomas vs. Atlantan Mark Weaver. Tune in at 1pm.

The $500 Car Race

Do you have what it takes to win 24 Hours of LeMons? [via]

A Sporting Chance...

United wants you to vote for one of five projects that use sports to address broader social issues in Chicago. The winner will receive their Chicago Impact Award and more than $50,000 in cash and other support.

A New Way to Raise Cash

The Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago has quite possibly the coolest fundraiser this weekend: rappeling down the Wit hotel. (Thanks, Kara!)

Kristin & Cutler?

According to Perez Hilton, the Bears' Jay Cutler is dating Kristin Cavallari from "The Hills." Might explain a few things from Sunday's game.

The Bear Market

Despite being a legendary sports franchise in a major market, the Chicago Bears are definitely not thrilling the nation with their team valuation—9th in the NFL and $800 million below their estimated potential. According to Forbes, "the problem begins and ends with ownership."

It's Critical

It's the last Friday of the month, which means Critical Mass hits the streets for tonight's commute. Kirstie Shanley examines the cultural phenomenon in Tailgate.

Slamming in the Second City

Nothing to do about the possibility of Manny Ramirez coming to the Sox, except sit, wait, and read. Here's Bill Simmons fantastic column on Manny's infamous departure from Boston. And here's a new Chicago Magazine article on Sammy Sosa's tumultuous departure from the Cubs. Don't forget, Frank Thomas' number will be retired during Sunday's Sox game.

Promote the Joys of Winter Cycling

If you have some free time today and are itchin' to do some design work, Bike Winter is looking for a new sticker for this season. Check out some previous designs to get you going.

Detroit Has One Fan Way More Dedicated Than Bears Fans

Since their Rex Grossman ...ahem... "led" Super Bowl season of 2006-07, the Bears faithful haven't had a whole lot to celebrate. No playoff appearances, and only one +.500 season since. Still, it's been a much better go of it than say, a Detroit Lions fan has had. Yet, one lone, 63 year-old Detroit Lions fan had the "gumption"/insanity to walk 425 miles from the Upper Peninsula to Lions training camp. Bears fans, consider the gauntlet thrown.

Deng is Visiting Home After a Long Absence

World News America is following Bulls forward Luol Deng as as he returns to Sudan for the first time since his family fled the country when he was five.

You are Entering a Peanut Free Zone

Yesterday the Cubs created a special peanut free zone in a skybox for those with serious allergies to the legume.

Tell the Other CPD What You Think

The Chicago Park District is reevaluating what to do with the area they're now calling "North Grant Park," so they're seeking public input through an online survey.

Quit While You're Not Ahead

Today's Cubs game (which they lost 16-5 to Atlanta) was Lou Piniella's last as manager.

The Design Racket

Layer Tennis starts its regular season with two live matches this Friday, one featuring local player Nick Campbell.

Join "The Club"

Did you miss "The Club," MLB's White Sox reality miniseries? Don't worry, Comcast SportsNet is airing it starting tonight. Or you could just read our recaps.

Chicago's Most Valuable Player

The Bears' Julius Peppers is at #36 on Sports Illustrated's list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes. He'll make a little over $20 million this year.

Share and Share a Bike

Chicago launched its own bike-sharing program today, called B-Cycle, starting with 100 bikes in six locations all near downtown. (Previously.)

Who is That Masked Fan?

With the mysteries of the Cubs' Pink Hat Guy and the Sox' M&M Jacket Guy solved, Deadspin turns its reticles to uncovering the story of the recognizable front-row South Sider who hexes pitchers and wears a goat mask during crosstown games.

#35 Back at 35th

Frank Thomas is back with the White Sox as a team ambassador, and he's happy to put differences with management behind. Helps they're retiring his number, no doubt.

Still Wondering About That Hot Dog?

In other food news, ESPN tracked down health department reports about food service providers for major stadiums around the country. At first, the Chicago stadiums look pretty clean, but then an important distinction emerges: Unlike most locales, Chicago health inspections were conducted when the food vendors were closed.

How Much are Cubs Tickets Worth?

One family dispute pegs the value of three years of Cubs tickets at $128,000 plus $2.5 million in damages.

Ryno's Ready

To coach the Cubs, that is. Not everyone agrees.

Randy Wells Can Make Dip?

After six months of preparation, a cookbook will be released on Friday authored by none other than the Chicago Cubs. Chicago Cubs Cookbook features collected recipes and stories from players and coaches, and all proceeds will go to pitcher Ryan Dempster's foundation, dedicated to helping those with the rare DiGeorge syndrome.

Sweet Sorrow

With Lou Piniella retiring, the Cubs are on the lookout for a new manager. What would the Cubs be like if Daley was manager? Or perhaps these folks?

Bulls continue Chicago Jazz campaign

In a move that sees the Bulls sign their third former Utah Jazz member of the offseason, Chicago has come to terms with shooting guard Ronnie Brewer. This follows previous signings of Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, both former Jazz stars. In other news, the Bulls will not be signing JJ Reddick.

Cubs Fan Precious Moments.

Wait till White Sox fans see these.

Chicago's New Riot Girls

In Tailgate, learn more about The Chicago Riots, the new junior roller derby league in town.

The Old Spice Cup

The Blackhawks got a special video response from the Old Spice guy regarding what he'd do with the Stanley Cup.

Bulls sign Asik

Don't all of you rush to get your season tickets all at once after hearing this news. Yes, the Bulls have signed Turkish super-star center Omer Asik to an undisclosed contract. You can now go order your personalized "Asik" Bulls jersey on NBA.com.

Shooting Down the Hawk

GQ has no love for Sox play-by-play announcer Hawk Harrelson, blaming him entirely for his and Steve Stone's position as worst broadcast booth in baseball. Chicagoist's Benjy Lipsman agrees.

Welcome to "The Club"

Remember the White Sox reality television program that was in the works? The show will premiere on Sunday at 8pm.

Bulls sign Kyle Korver

Adding to the recent Carlos Boozer addition, the Bulls have signed 3-point specialist Kyle Korver to a three year contract. This does not, however, take away from their already failed offseason.

Run of Wrigley

The Cubs held a fan appreciation day for season ticket holders yesterday. They got to explore the stadium, but weren't allowed to take ivy home.

Soccer's Talent Drain

Mexican pro soccer teams are scouting for players in Chicagoland.

10 People You Meet in Rec Leagues

Our own Glenn McBride and Tracy Swartz split the duty on this list -- as well as the timing. Here's Glenn's piece from May, and here's Tracy's from today.

Mas, Por Favor

No Mas prints awesome t-shirts for sports fans with a sense of history; White Sox fans are well represented. (OK, Cubs too.)

Air Apparent

Is it wise to dare Lebron James to come fill Jordan's shoes?

395 Yeas for the Hawks

The U.S. House of Representatives very officially congratulated the Blackhawks this afternoon after a vote of 395-5.

Rose and...Wade?

Add another name to the list of free agents thinking about joining the Bulls this Fall. The Chicago Tribune reports that Dwyane Wade (a Chicago native) may be planning a visit with the Bulls early in his free agency period, which begins this Thursday.

Whole Body

The Gold Coast branch of Whole Foods brings back their Yoga on the Rooftop summer series: every Tuesday at 6pm, professional yoga instructors will help you increase strength and flexibility from the rooftop of 1 W. Superior. BYOYM (bring your own yoga mat).

2 Cs Became Cubs & Sox

DesignCrave compares Major League Baseball teams' original logos to their current ones. The Sox logo may look familiar to fans, but the Cubs' original is really obscure. [via]

A Sporty Pride Parade

As promised, the Stanley Cup visited the Pride Parade yesterday. Fausto Fernos of Feast of Fun talked with Brent Sopel, the Hawk who made it happen, at the parade. More photos here, here and here.

Bikes Everywhere!

New City's new issue is totally biketacular.

Our Gonfalon Bubble

"Tinker to Evers to Chance." Baseball's Sad Lexicon in pictures.

The Cup & Cubs in the Pride Parade

The Stanley Cup will make an appearance at this weekend's Gay Pride Parade -- as will Boystown neighbors the Cubs. The boys in blue will run a float for the first time ever, and Ernie Banks will be on it.

Who Will Win the "Oil Spill Cup"?

Rather than being a coup for the Sox, Cubs and BP, the BP Crosstown Cup has turned out to be a public relations nightmare.

Soccer is Poetry

We've got soccer on the brain in Tailgate right now -- especially a local program that teaches both teamwork and communication skills through a combination of soccer and poetry.

MetaLouPiniellica

Cubs manager Lou Piniella's post-game rant on Friday gets the remix treatment.. [via]

Lord Stanley on the Loose

The Stanley Cup has been taking a break from the party in Chicago to party in LA, but when it returns you can keep tabs on its random appearances via Twitter at WheresTheCup.

Your World Cup Primer

In other sports news, the 2010 World Cup started today with a match between Mexico and South Africa. We've got all you need to know to jump on the soccer bandwagon in Tailgate.

Blackhawks Parade from Your Office

Can't make it to the Blackhawks parade today? Catch live coverage on CBS 2, NBC 5, ABC 7, WGN and Fox, and follow along on Twitter .

A Special Tee

RIPT Apparel, which just celebrated its first birthday, has a t-shirt sure to be a hit with Blackhawks fans today.

I Love a Parade!

If you're into cheering for major sporting victories, head downtown Friday morning for the official Blackhawks celebration parade. The jubilation kicks off at 10:30am at Wacker and Washington.

Get Your Soccer On!

Speaking of sporting competitions, WBEZ is getting in the World Cup mood with viewing parties and a bracket competition open to most everyone. Check out GB's coverage over in Tailgate.

"Hawks. Cup. Speechless."

That about sums it up. Congrats, Blackhawks! You done Chicago proud.

Bernie Mac Day

The Bernie Mac Foundation and the White Sox are remembering the comedian with a memorial outing on June 10 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Truly, it was an Age of Awesome Mustachery

From the New York Public Library's A. G. Spalding baseball photo collection, a picture of some baseball-playing Chicago gents from the good old, OLD days. More Chicago baseball memories can be found here.

Chicago Sports Nation

SBNation just launched a Chicago channel collecting their local sports coverage, with Bleed Cubby Blue's Al Yellon in charge.

Lucky Number Seven

If you missed the Blackhawks' win last night, you can at least watch those seven goals over and over again for a few hours (including that hit on Pronger). Now that's a highlight reel.

The Fury's Fierce Win

This past Saturday, the near-undefeated Fury took home the Ivy King Cup, the highest achievement for local competitors in Windy City Rollers, Chicago's female roller derby league. They showed no mercy taking down underdogs the Double Crossers, ending the game with a score of 130-71.

The Urinator Terminator

Moshe Tamssot is sick of folks from the nearby United Center and bars using his alley as a urinal. So he decided to get even.

"NHL around here, there's not much interest"

The Trib points to race and athletic opportunities when it comes to disparate support of the Blackhawks and other ice skating in the city.

Miscellaneous Museums of Chicago, Part One

Did you know that there's a Bronzeville Children's Museum, and that it's in ... Calumet Heights?

Fountains of Blood for the Blackhawks

The fountain at Daley Plaza has been dyed red in honor of the Blackhawks -- either that or GWAR is back in town. Oh, wait.

One Lucrative Player

Speaking of Michael Jordan, speculation is running rampant over the possibility that LeBron James could join the Bulls and usher in a new era of championships. The economic benefit? A UIC economist estimates as much as $2.7 billion.

Ready for Tonight's Blackhawks Game?

Michael Jordan is. (Game starts at 7, people.)

Locals on a Massive Stage

The buzz for this summer's World Cup tournament is at fever pitch. The US Men's National Team added to ruckus by announcing their final 23 man roster. Chicagoist has a breakdown of the local inclusions.

Speed-painting the Indian Head

Next Wednesday, June 2, Mahoney's will host the artist known as "Elliott from Art Beat" for a live painting of the Blackhawks logo during the Hawks' first Stanley Cup match. The painting will be auctioned off to benefit March of Dimes.

Our Undefeated Football Team

The Blackhawks are doing a number on the Sharks, but there's another Chicago squad whose record is even better: The Force, our women's football team. See them take on Pittsburgh this Sunday.

The South Side Sounds a Bit Different Toniiiight

Batting-average beleaguered White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham has abandoned the unusual batting intro tune that garnered him national attention. In memoriam: our most hated and most loved covers of The Outfield's "Your Love".

The Mountain Goats vs. Cubs "Fans"

Zing.

Chicago Dynasty 2.0?

I'm not much of a sports fan, but it's hard to ignore the Lebron-in-Chicago chatter that's approaching a fever pitch, with even the President saying James would look good in red and black. The Sun-Times rained on everybody's parade by arguing the King will not, in fact, become a Bull any time soon, but a Bulls higher-up says he's interested in pursuring James. That's not daunting Chicago Facebook users who want to woo both LeBron and--why not?--Dwayne Wade to the Windy City.

The Most Interesting Man in the World (of Basketball)

There's a rumor out there that Lebron James and John Calipari could be coming together to a team that could be the Bulls, and that it would be the handiwork of a mysterious, well-connected guy nicknamed Worldwide Wes. Back in 2007, Alex French tried to find out exactly who William Wesley is.

Ride in Their Honor

Chicago's Ride of Silence pushes off from Daley Plaza tonight in honor of those who've been injured or killed in accidents with motor vehicles. More in Mechanics. [via]

Setting Fire to the Sister Cities

The Fire are playing four games against teams from Chicago's sister cities this week. If you're a fan of European soccer, here's your best and cheapest opportunity to catch Paris Saint-Germain, Legia Warsaw and Red Star Belgrade live on the field.

Olympic Spirit of 70.6

$70.6 million, that is. That's the final tally on Chicago's Olympic bid spending.

The President Wants You, Lebron!

Speaking of Lebron, President Obama thinks he would look good in a Bulls uniform.

The LeBron Sweepstakes Is On

After a stunning second-round loss for the NBA Championship contender Cleveland Cavaliers, all attention now shifts to where LeBron James will play next year. Chicago Bulls fans are going to make their voices known through the "Send LeBron to Chicago" campaign. Read an interview with the creator of this movement in Tailgate.

Common Opinions

Bulls fans will hear from approximately 327,653 sources with their thoughts on the off-season free agent situation. For today, you can consider the opinions of local hip-hop star Common. Hey, why not?

To Catch a Falling Starlin

Well that didn't take long. After a record setting debut on Friday against the Reds in Cincinnati, things have not been so smooth for the 20-year old Cubs phenom Starlin Castro. His first taste of the Friendly Confines proved less than friendly last night. The savior of the team was actually booed by the home fans in his first game after accounting for three errors. Nobody said it was easy.

Coming to a Sports Page Near You

"Among the spectators, Team Voldemort fans are outnumbered."

The Baseball King Is Dead, Long Live The King

White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle is no longer the latest baseball player to pitch a perfect game.

Honor Among Golfers

Grant Whybark of St. Francis University intentionally lost a regional playoff round to allow a player from Olivet Nazarene to advance to the nationals. (Whybark's team is already in.)

Which Seats are Really the Best Seats in the House?

These seats.

Street Vendors to be Banned from Wrigley?

If you're looking to score a t-shirt with homophobic insinuations about Albert Pujols or blatantly racist references to Kosuke Fukudome, you may soon have to look somewhere other than the street vendors outside Wrigley.

Olympic Failure = Sports for Kids

The $6.1 million left over from donations to the Chicago Olympic bid is funding World Sport Chicago's programs for inner-city kids. As the Sun-Times quips: "World Sport Chicago is the only remaining legacy of Daley's Olympic quest."

Hockey & Pizza Go Together

NBC websites picked up a fake story about Canuck hockey players getting suspended for planning a "pizza crawl" during their visit to Chicago.

Vinny Del Negro Finally Let Go...Now What?

In what might be the least surprising turn of events during the Bulls' offseason, the team fired coach Vinny Del Negro some time yesterday. The official announcement will come later today. Now the attention moves towards who will take over as coach and who they will target as free agent additions. Stay tuned.

The 2010 World Cup in Our Own Backyard

With only 38 days left until the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Chicago is catching soccer fever. What better way to celebrate the international competition than by holding a mini-version? The 2010 Chicago World Cup will pit teams composed of international players against each other. Unlike the real thing, this one won't require a 20+ hour plane ride.

The Row to Recovery

Recovery On Water and its forceful coach are kicking the crap out of breast cancer, one rower at a time. Learn more in Tailgate.

Protest at Wrigley, Arizona Edition

Another protest is to take place today at Wrigley Field as the Cubs take on the Diamondbacks. This time, though, it's about Arizona's new immigration law and the D-Backs' alleged ties to the Republican Party. UPDATE: Chicagoist has photos of the protest.

Sports Radio on the Web

Today's noon Lunchbox chat on Vocalo is all about sports. Eat at your desk and talk Bulls, Blackhawks and baseball with Marcus Gilmer of Chicagoist, Rob Zibung of The Heckler, "Eight Forty-Eight's" Cheryl Raye Stout and our own Brian Lauvray from Tailgate.

Sports Radio on the Web

Today's noon Lunchbox chat on Vocalo is all about sports. Eat at your desk and talk Bulls, Blackhawks and baseball with Marcus Gilmer of Chicagoist, Brad Zibung of The Heckler, "Eight Forty-Eight's" Cheryl Raye Stout and our own Brian Lauvray from Tailgate.

Purple vs. Orange at Wrigley

Northwestern will play Illinois at Wrigley Field this fall, the first football game played in the stadium in 40 years.

Take Me Out to the Blogosphere

Wrigleyville tends to draw a vast blogger presence. But hey, what's one more URL to bookmark among die hard fans? Cubs Fan Report launched today as a collaborative of them all, as well as major news Cubs coverage.

One McCaskey Leaves, Another Enters

Michael McCaskey is stepping down as chairman of the Bears after the 2010 season. His replacement? His younger brother, George.

The Cubs Way of Life

When I saw the Cubs' new slogan, I couldn't resist. As a Sox fan, it was just too easy.

Introducing: The Turncoat

It takes a lot to turn a Cubs fan against his or her team. But for Rick Abplanalp, enough was enough. Now he roots for the Sox.

Pitching Across The Aisle

The Verban Memorial Society, a bipartisan group in D.C. dedicated to supporting the Cubs, has inducted White Sox fan President Obama into its ranks. "'I know it will be hard for him to accept this accolade,' Mr. Durbin said. 'It's like telling him he was elected to the board of directors of the Republican National Committee.' Conservative columnist George Will, a Verban stalwart, says the president ought to embrace his induction. 'Diversity,' he says. 'It's a great liberal value.'"

Beyond the Bleachers

With Wrigley Field and its surroundings in the news so much recently, perhaps it's worth remembering what the Sheffield Avenue rooftops looked like in 1987 compared to what they look like now.

Ride then Ride

The Active Transportation Alliance is pleased to report that Metra will be expanding its Bikes on Metra program.

Protesting Wrigley -- for Pay

About 60 protesters were outside Wrigley Field yesterday, supposedly upset about the proposed Toyota sign. Turns out they were paid for their time. No wonder they didn't seem very upset.

Oh, the Agony

The Beachwood Reporter just launched a new Cubs blog: Agony & Ivy, a sober look at this team in "year one."

Red Sox Beat Cubs

Not on the field (yet, anyway) -- in ticket price. The Cubs are the most expensive in the National League, and behind only Boston for most expensive in baseball.

Volunteer the Drive

You can still save a couple bucks on Bike the Drive if you sign up by Monday. Or if you'd like to get more involved, they're looking for some volunteers.

Economist Bull Talk

In Tailgate, Brian Lauvray talks with sports economist David Berri about the Bulls' season and basketball in general.

Behind Enemy Lines

This license plate has probably started many a fight in Wisconsin.

Kiss Her Goodbye

The 2010 season will be Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust's last.

Chicago White Sox, Otherwise Known As Father-Daughter Bonding

Here's a heartwarming essay by Dave Revsine on how baseball and particularly White Sox fandom helps him bond with his daughter.

Final Four Drinks

Whether you're a fan of Butler, Michigan State, Duke or West Virginia, there's a bar in Chicago for you. Here's where to drink among friends this weekend.

Partially Concealing the Proposed Wrigley Sign

The Department of Zoning has modified plans to erect a 38-foot-tall sign at Wrigley Field. The changes will make it less visible from the street and better integrate it into the park. While the modifications won't ensure the sign will be approved, what's certain is that the sign can't be ready for opening day.

But Has He Declared a Major Yet?

In a combination of unprecedented talent and life imitating Mr. Show, 10-year-old Jaylin Fleming is already being courted by college recruiters for his basketball prowess.

Not Open During Funerals

Ünnecessary Ümlaut has a review and photos of what is likely the creepiest miniature golf course in the country: Palatine's Ahlgrim Family Funeral Services ... and basement golf course.

The Odds? One in 13,460,000

A local high school student's NCAA bracket is perfect ... so far.

On Your Mark

Individual registration for the 2010 Chicago Marathon is now closed, but you can still get involved by signing up to run on behalf of one of these great charities.

Cornhole Season Nears

Cornhole, baggo, bags -- whatever you call it, improving weather means we'll soon hear the sound of beanbags hitting plywood echoing through the alley. Chi-Town Custom Cornhole makes custom game sets to help you join in the fun.

Obama's Got Kansas vs. Kentucky

The President's March Madness bracket is now available for copying, mockery.

Official Wrigley Field Renovation Details

Daniel X. O'Neil, Everyblock people person and former GB staffer, dug through the city's January 2010 Landmark Building Permits and uncovered detailed information about the Wrigley Field renovation, including renovation of the scoreboard, bathrooms and other changes. He also put the entire permit list into CSV format for your use.

The Jordan Bobcats

Michael Jordan is buying a controlling stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, according to Chicago Breaking Sports.

March Bar Madness

The Fifty50 and CoachHouse are Chicago's entrants in Thrillist's "Bar Madness" contest to determine the best sports bar in America.

Sox Don't Like Guillen Tweeting

So Ozzie can star on a reality show, but he can't be on Twitter? The White Sox' head coach launched his account yesterday, and today GM Kenny Williams gave it the head shake. UPDATE: Now Guillen announced he is going to keep the account but not discuss the Sox.

Fighting Refinement

I hereby nominate the upcoming mixed martial arts show at the Chicago Theatre as the weirdest collision of venue and event in some time.

White Sox' Dirty (and Clean) Laundry Aired

Ozzie Guillen, Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf have signed on for a reality TV series called "The Club" on the MLB Network. The show will follow the Sox from spring training into the regular season.

Spreading Like a Plague

The Cubs are the newest ambassadors of our Tax Increment Financing system in Arizona, where they are proposing a TIF to fund the construction of their new spring training stadium.

Don't Worry, Be Happy

...was a number one jam in 1988, which was the last time an American won gold at the Olympic Male Figure Skating competition. Big ups to Naperville's own Evan Lysacek (and Evanstonian Shani Davis, who recently won gold in speed skating).

Golden Boy

Congratulations are in order for Chicago native and now two-time gold medalist, Shani Davis.

Swatting Pixels

Coudal's Layer Tennis returns this Friday at 2pm. Plan your afternoon accordingly.

Hurry Hard, but Safely

Local tech firm Kodiak Technology Group is the unlikely mastermind behind an even more unlikely Olympic tie-in: curling-themed condoms.

Locals on the Team

There are several local athletes [pdf] you can keep an eye out for when you tune in to the Vancouver winter games, including three from one suburban speedskating club.

At 42, Number 35 is Done

Frank Thomas, "arguably the greatest player in White Sox history" is set to announce his retirement. The team will retire his number and many consider him a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Vizquel Goes to 11

The White Sox made the unusual move to un-retire hall-of-famer Luis Aparicio's #11 jersey so new shortstop Omar Vizquel could wear it. Vizquel asked Aparicio's permission to do it. Why? Because coach Ozzie Guillen wears #13, Vizquel's usual number, and isn't going to give it up.

Chicago's Fastest Skater

As Chicago-born speed skater Shani Davis prepares for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, his mother carefully guards his reputation.

Register for Bike the Drive

Your annual opportunity to pedal down LSD is on May 30 this year, and registration is now open.

Get Your Shoes Ready

Registration for the 2010 Chicago Marathon is now open.

HOF: Dawson Enters as an Expo

Former Cubs star Andre Dawson will enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in an Expos uniform, the Tribune reports.

Ready Your Grocery Cart!

The Chiditarod is now accepting team registrations and looking for volunteers for the fifth annual race on March 6. Do you have what it takes?

Bloggers on Ice

Are you a blogger? Do you enjoy sliding around with metal blades on your feet? Then Blogger Industry Night is for you! Gapers Block is co-sponsoring the event with Explore Chicago, the Printers Ball and the Chicago Publishers Gallery. Join other Chicagoland bloggers on the ice at the Millennium Park Ice Rink from 7 to 11pm Feb. 5, and warm up in the Park Grill with complimentary apps and a cash bar. More info and RSVP on Facebook. (We're also co-sponsoring a Flickr meet-up on Feb. 6!)

Here's Mud in Your Face

Don't wear your nice clothes if you go to the Viaduct Theatre this Saturday to catch the latest bouts by the Chicago Mud Queens.

Marketing Blitz

Take a deep breath Bears fans. The Colts are beating us in more ways than one.

Hope Springs Eternal

A report from this year's Cubs convention.

Fitness for Zombie Warfare

ZombieFit is a parkour-based "functional fitness" program designed to have you ready for when the dead shall rise again. It's taught in St. Charles, which is far enough out of the city to give you a fighting chance for survival. [via]

Be Active Indoors

Getting stir crazy already? Time Out notes that factory tours are a good indoor activity to get you out of the house without leaving you cold.

Singular or Plural?

Suburban apparel company American Needle (and its loud website) is involved in a big time lawsuit with the NFL that could determine whether or not the NFL is a single entity or 32 entities.

Faking the Plunge

Need to pretend you've taken the Polar Bear Plunge for some reason? Here's your guide to how it feels.

The More Things Change...

Disgruntled fans hoping for wholesale changes on the Bears after a disappointing season are probably only a little happy this morning with reports that offensive coordinator Ron Turner (as well as a couple of other coaches) are on their way out the door at Halas Hall. Head coach Lovie Smith, however, appears to safe from the ax for now. Details in Tailgate.

Sit And Deliver

ESPN Zone is the site for the ninth annual Chicago Ultimate Coach Potato competition on New Year's Day, pitting the best of the best...when it comes to sitting and watching sports. The minimal bathroom breaks give a whole new meaning to "bowl games." You can't tell the players without a scorecard.

A Devil Of A Time For Hawks?

Flying high in the Western Conference standings, the Blackhawks look to keep rising against their big foe from the East, the New Jersey Devils. Jeremy Piniak has the lowdown in Tailgate.

The Bears Did What?

Yes, they won. In overtime. And against the Minnesota Vikings. In case you opted against watching what you were sure was going to be a blowout, get the details in Tailgate.

Remember That Perfect Game?

Mark Buehrle's perfect game is the second biggest sports story of the year for The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Not-So-Top 10

ESPN Chicago has compiled a list of the top 10 most embarassing sports moments in Chicago this past year. We can quibble with a couple of them, but the No. 1 moment? Well, let's just say a certain Bears QB might even agree with that.

Bulls Fall from Grace

The Bulls blew a 35-point lead -- their largest ever -- last night against the Sacramento Kings.

We Told You So

We tried to warn you. But did you listen to us? Nooo. You went ahead and watched the Bears game anyway. When you finally finish washing the awful out of your eyes, head over to Tailgate to help figure out what you saw and leave your eyewitness account of that carwreck.

Playing the Bears Must be Important

For better or worse, the Bears are going play some football this afternoon thanks to hundreds of Baltimore employees -- and 125 convicts.

Da Coach

As the Bears continue their descent into the NFL's basement, if ever there was a time for some Mike Ditka wisdom, it's now. And Tailgate's got it, thanks to Brian Lauvray's video interview with "Da Coach." Check it out and behold the power that is...Ditka.

The Big 14?

The increasingly misnamed Big Ten conference, headquartered here, is looking to add another team to its collection -- or maybe three.

Matsui To Angels, Not Chicago

Hideki Matsui will be going to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Rumors had been floating around that the White Sox were courting him recently.

It's Official

The Bears are now officially out of the playoffs, thanks to a 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers yesterday. Tailgate gives you tips on how to spend what should now be your free time on Sunday.

Hawks: Ready For The Test?

Forget about Patrick Kane returning to the scene of the crime. Tonight's Blackhawks-Buffalo Sabres game is all about measuring how far the Hawks have come. Jeremy Piniak tells you what to watch for in Tailgate.

Not A Bull Market

Well, they dropped another one last night, this time a 118-83 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. So what the heck is wrong with the Bulls? Tailgate's Brian Lauvray conducts an autopsy.

Skate 'Til You're Cubby Blue

The Sun-Times reports that an ice-skating rink adjacent to Wrigley Field is expected to open next week.

Luc Longley Plays Name That Shrimp

Former Bulls star Luc Longley won an eBay auction for naming rights to a new shrimp species found off the coast of Australia, not far from his home town. He named the colorful shrimp Lebbeus clarehanna after his 15-year-old daughter. Think you've got a better name? Tell us in Tailgate. [via]

Shall I Compare Thee to a Winning Team?

...And other Chicago sports-based poetry from the Chi Town Project.

Groovy

The first Left 4 Dead videogame featured a bit of graffiti stating: "NO ZOMBIE IS SAFE FROM CHICAGO TED" (allegedly based on similar, nastier graffiti found in an Indianian men's room). Thank God for the Internet. Despite not appearing in the actual game (or its sequel), Ted has developed a mysterious and vicious zombie-killing legend nonetheless. Who is Chicago Ted? We may never know. But we can imagine.

How Bad ARE They?

WBEZ web editor Justin Kaufmann is looking for Bears jokes (as if the team's play wasn't enough of a joke itself.) If you've got some, share then here. OK, two Bears walk into a bar...they forgot to duck. Hey-oooo!

Little Dipper Gets a New Home

You may not be able to ride the rides at Kiddieland anymore, but you will be able to ride one Kiddieland ride at Six Flags.

Football and Funny Books

Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has a (sort of) secret hobby, and he knows where to go to to get his sequential art fix. Listen here as he talks about growing up with comics, keeping that love alive in the NFL, and his fan site. GO BEARS! GO COMICS!

Horseshoe Not So Lucky in Wrigley Field

In a particularly aggressive move, the Cubs erected blank billboards to block a competing billboard located on a nearby building.

Chicago Boxer Dies, But Saves Other Lives

Ken Green wrote in Tailgate yesterday about the death of up-and-coming boxer Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez in a bout this weekend. While his death is tragic, it did have a silver lining: he was an organ donor, and gave a kidney to his uncle and other organs to at least seven people. Learn more here. [via]

"He's Jay Cutler"

Tom Latourette pens a tribute to the Bears' current crappy QB -- and all the ones before him -- for the Beachwood Reporter.

Pesky Pisces

The latest battle in the war against the Asian Carp invasion is a victory for the fish. Researchers have found DNA evidence that suggests members of the species are living beyond two electronic barriers built to keep them out of the Great Lakes.

A Bear Gets Bare

In addition to losing last night's game, Devin Hester had a was made an ass of when a player for the Philadelphia Eagles tackled him, leaving him pantsless.

Bears Fans Out Of Bounds?

A Pittsburgh Steeler fan says he was poisoned and blinded while drinking at a bar near Soldier Field following a post-game altercation with Bears fans.

The Shorts Don't Make It

The 1976 White Sox's shorts and collared shirts came in third place in UniWatch's Worst Uniform Ever competition.

Free Fire Tickets

You have a chance to win the VIP treatment by entering the Chicago Fire's text-for-tickets contest going on now. A winner will be announced later today. Get details in Tailgate.

Riding in Tandem (but not Necessarily on One)

The annual Sadie Hawkins Ride is this Saturday, starting from the Blue Frog. Find a partner and go!

Buehrle Wins Golden Glove

White Sox Pitcher Mark Buehrle won the American League Rawlings Gloden Glove award.

Hey-hey! Hey, Where Did Jack Go?

Whither the Jack Brickhouse bust that sat between the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Tribune Tower? Not to fear, per Steve Johnson, Jack's out for repairs.

A New Kind of Cubby Pride

With the Cubs' change of ownership, they have become the first professional sports team with an openly gay owner.

ChicagoBreakingStuff.com

The Trib launched ChicagoBreakingSports.com on Sunday, pushing Tribune property sports content out throughout the day like they do on ChicagoBreakingNews.com. Which got me wondering: what other "breaking" domains do they own?

The House Jordan Built is Still Packed

The Chicago Bulls led the NBA in attendance for the past decade, yes, the decade after Michael Jordan left the team! The team averaged 20,891 fans per game. For more about the Bulls, check out Tailgate.

Meet The Ricketts

The new owner of the Cubs is profiled in both the Trib and Crain's today.

61st Street Garden Coverage Expanding

The imminent closure of the 61st Street Community Garden is getting a lot of attention from the media, with the Trib and Sun-Times augmenting weeks of coverage in the Hyde Park Herald and the Invisible Institute's Garden Conversations.

Changing Hands

Two venerable Chicago institutions officially have new owners: the Sun-Times and the Cubs.

Silver Chalice Ventures

The Chicago White Sox recently launched a new multimedia venture whose earnings will go to the team. The venture sets out to create "interactive digital" strategies for sports teams. Thus far SCV has made a digital network for the Bulls set to debut Thursday called "BullsTV."

Get Your Piece of Kiddieland

How do you put a price on a memory? Rides, equipment, signage and other bits of Kiddieland will be auctioned off by Norton Auctioneers on Nov. 24. Here are some photos of auction items.

Sports Reporting by Robots

Stats Monkey is a project at Northwestern's Intelligent Information Laboratory that might one day make sports reporting obsolete. Of course, that'd just mean more time for sportwriters to be columnists. [via]

Cubs Bankrupt (For a Day)

While in no actual financial discrepancy, the Tribune Co.'s Chicago Cubs have filed for Chapter 11 protection to speed up the sale to the Ricketts family, but this bankruptcy may only last a day. Interestingly enough, they're not the only Major League Baseball team to file Chapter 11.

New Chicago Marathon Course Record Set

Samuel Wanjiru broke the Chicago Marathon's 1999 record by one second.

Running the Chicago Marathon ... for the 32nd Time

Chicago resident Larry Moon is one of only nine people who have run in every Chicago marathon, and he'll be running again on Sunday.

Chicago Winter Olympics!

Pruned suggests that Chicago immediately bid for the 2018 Winter Games. [via] While I doubt Daley'll bite, we do already have a ski jump.

The "smartest new corporate hotel in ages"

If you're looking for a downtown getaway, the new boutique hotel The Wit got a not too shabby review in the NY Times.

The Verdict:

Games On

Whether you're for Rio, Madrid, Tokyo, or Chicago, your Olympic fervor (and addiction to Twitter) could win you a trip to one of the finalist cities from travel social media app Where I've Been. Check Facebook for more details.

6 Rings, 2 Open Letters

Here's an open letter to Michelle Obama from Lou Carlozo to go with our own Bob Quellos' open letter to her husband regarding Chicago's Olympic bid.

Behind Chicagoans for Rio

The folks behind Chicagoans for Rio talk about why they created the site and other questions. [via]

One Last Presidential Endorsement

Barack Obama will be joining Michelle in Copenhagen this week after all, hoping to give another boost to Chicago's Olympic bid.

Last Ride on the Roto-Whip

This is Kiddieland's final weekend, and capacity crowds are expected. If you're going, plan to wait awhile.

Marathon of Footprints

Create a digital "footprint" with your inspiration for running the Chicago Marathon (or supporting someone who is) and Bank of America will donate $1 to a charity of your choice.

David Byrne Talks Chicago Biking

The Trib took some time to chat with David Byrne about his new book, Bicycle Diaries, and got him talking about his cycling experiences in Chicago.

The Other "O" Goes to Copenhagen

The president still isn't attending, but Oprah will be headed to Copenhagen to promote Chicago's bid for the Olympics. Meanwhile, Dave Zirin frets about what will happen if we win in The Nation.

Flying on Two Wheels

Get out your BMX: The Garden is a set of dirt jumps for bicycles set in Clark Park. It's hard to believe something this cool is just hiding in the woods near the river.

Wheels in Motion

It's been a busy week for the Windy City Rollers, who started it off by singing the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley with Drew Barrymore, and ended it by winning this weekend's WFTDA North Central Regional Tournament, easily skating past Madison 150-56.

Rio has a Nice Ring to It

Speaking of the Olympics, here's another site for the anti- crowd: Chicagoans for Rio. [via]

The Mighty Maroons

Did you know that Chicago's first college football team was at the University of Chicago? Led by Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, the Maroons won all but two games from 1905 to 1909, and were Big Ten champions seven times. Discovered in the Library of Congress' stash of photos from the Chicago Daily News.

Where Will Walter Payton Stand?

Will his statue find rest outside of Solider Field, or will it be somewhere else?

MJ's 23

In honor of Michael Jordan's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame tomorrow, ESPN has collected the 23 most memorable moments of his career. (Surprisingly, Space Jam is not included.) More in Tailgate.

Nice Tattoo. I Give It Four Stars

Random interesting tattoo photo shows a young lady's team and town loyalty.

Hero of the Day: Dwyane Wade

NBA star Dwyane Wade is donating money to help the public library in his home town of Robbins stay open.

They Say It Ain't So

The classic book Eight Men Out about the 1919 "Black Sox" may be much more fiction than fact, two Chicago lawyers argue in the latest issue of Chicago Lawyer.

Women in Cleats

The Chicago Bliss play their first game in the Lingerie Football League tonight against the Miami Caliente and Ditka's now involved -- but considering the field's 50 yards long and there's no kicking, will a serious fanbase develop? Meanwhile, there's a real women's football team that doesn't get enough attention.

We've Got Problems: IOC Releases Report

The Olympic Committee released a "technical analysis" [PDF] of the four cities vying for the 2016 Summer Olympics. They noted concerns with Chicago's proposed financing, housing and transportation for the event.

Don't Forget to Duck

Dodgeball ninjas are on the loose!

Steve Stone in Playgirl?!

The things you learn from someone's Wikipedia entry. Here's the semi-SFW (no full frontal) pictorial. Delicious innuendo: "Many ballplayers were dazzled by Steve's slick curve ball."

WTF of the Day

This story contains nothing of obvious Chicago interest -- unless you're a Cubs fan. Then the idea of a goat potentially being sacrificed in connection with the Viking Brett Favre might make a little more sense. [via]

Au Revoir

Looks like Chicago Fire defender Bakary Soumare will be bidding a not-so-fond adieu to the MLS and heading to France as the newest member of Boulogne. Soumare hasn't played or practiced with the Fire since an "incident" involving coach Denis Hamlett three weeks ago.

Nerds Like Sports, Too

Wish you knew more about football, but know how to learn? The Chicago Nerd Social Club is here to help. They're offering a Football 101 course, followed by a fantasy football league draft on Sept. 3.

$22.5 Billion for Chicago?

Daley's estimate of that the Olympics will provide $22.5 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits to the Chicago region is being greeted with signifiant skepticism.

Feel the P-p-power

The PPPWRS -- that's the Power Wheel Racing Series -- is nearing its next race. Keep your eye out for more details.

White Sox, Black Ops

"Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy," a fascinating 1992 profile of Moe Berg, a third-string catcher for the White Sox -- and a WWII spy. [via]

Tell 'Em You Were There

So you're a die hard White Sox fan who is still kicking themselves for missing Mark Buehrle's perfect game. Well, chin up, you can still tell your friends you were there. Sort of. (Via Deadspin)

The Rosemont Sky?

The Chicago Sky is packing up basketballs and moving out to the Allstate Arena.

6 Ring Circus TV

Apparently the US Olympic Committee was contemplating creating an Olympics TV channel. And it may have been hurting Chicago's 2016 bid. But fear not, they've scrapped the network.

Beer Thrower Identified, Turned Himself In

Two misdemeanors later, the Cubs beer perp is out of lock up, and the wrongly detained Dan DeLaPaz is free -- but no one from the Cubs organization has apologized to him.

APB for a J.E.R.K.

Hey, Guy Who Dumped A Beer On Philadelphia Philies Outfielder Shane Victorino In Last Night's Game (not this guy, who was tossed out the park for it): the Cubs, Victorino and the cops want to talk to you. UPDATE: The culprit turned himself in.

Hot Dog Ballin'

Sweet Chicago-themed custom Lebron James Nikes by Jeffrey Zimmerman. [via]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Love em' or hate em' (and their fans), this site answers a question relevant to irate Wrigleyville dwellers, Cubs devotees, and many more.

Advertisements Creeping onto the Playing Field

The Bears' practice jerseys feature a prominently placed advertisement, and there's some question about where the ads will stop.

Blackhawks Kane Arrested in Buffalo

Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane was arrested in Buffalo this morning for allegedly assaulting a cab driver and failing to pay the fare. Kane, 20, was in his hometown to announce funding to improve the local ice rink. Kane and a 21-year-old relative, who was also charged, are in holding.

Turning Clout into Clods of Dirt

School Board President and Chicago 2016 bid committee member Michael Scott (no, not also from "The Office") has been arranging to develop property near planned Olympic sites; here's a map. His development team also includes several politically connected West Side ministers. As the Beachwood Reporter says, "Michael Scott, you are today's winner of our new So Chicago Award."

Fantasy Footballing

Thinking about playing fantasy football this year? Check out Pyromaniacs, a new league by Chicago design firm Diet Strychnine. The player depictions and profile attitude might sway you from the standard ESPN leagues.

A Weekend Day Trip Option

The Fox River Trail in Batavia is a good destination for a day trip; be sure to check out the Fabyan Villa.

Sox Grab Peavy At Deadline

Coming in under the wire: The White Sox have traded for sought-after pitcher Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres in a last-second deal made just before the end of the MLB trading deadline. More in Tailgate.

Pining for the Fireside Bowl

Hey, Chicago music/bowling fans! Just a few hours left to order a special shirt titled "Bring Back the Fireside" at RIPT Apparel. [via]

Some Help Massing Up

If you're heading to Critical Mass tonight but need an extra bike, at least one local bike store has an overnight Mass special.

Go West

Jerry Reinsdorf, who already owns the Bulls and White Sox, is a little bit closer to adding some puck-wielding Coyotes to his stable after the NHL's unanimous approval of his bid. Don't worry Hawks fans, he plans on keeping the team in Phoenix.

Boys vs. Girls

Shades of Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs: The Schaumburg Flyers minor league baseball team will take on the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch softball league at their own game tonight in the latest sports battle of the sexes. More in Tailgate.

Talkin' Fancy Bikes

In other sports news, John Greenfield of Vote with Your Feet recently interviewed Stephen Schier, co-owner of Lincoln Park's Dutch Bike Co. Chicago, about the shop, why he opened a store in Chicago and the future of European cycles in the U.S.

A Perfect Game

White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game Thursday, with a little help from outfielder Dewayne Wise, who leaped up the center field wall to stop a home run. More details in Tailgate.

Basketball-headed Zombies

No idea this existed: Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, a 1994 game for the Super Nintendo. [via]

Drinkable Art

When you put 19,000 bottles of Gatorade next to each other on a basketball court, they look just like Michael Jordon.

Sox Fan in Chief

Chicago eyes will be on President Obama as he throws out the first pitch at tonight's All Star Game -- to see if he shows up repping his favorite team.

Ivy Green, Pinstripe Blue

Think you're the ultimate Cubs fan? Not until you paint your home with Valspar's limited edition paints.

2016 Olympic Proposed Sport: The Dodge

Lori Healey, president of the Chicago 2016 bid committee, performed some interesting acrobatics herself at a recent press conference, according to the Trib's David Greising. [via]

Derby on the Roll

Windy City Rollers' regular season may be over, but the All Stars travel team is just getting started. We've got the schedule in Tailgate.

The Day the Disco Died

The New York Times goes back 30 years to July 12, 1979, "Disco Demolition Night," at Comiskey Park.

Help Out the Home Team

The Chicago Force women's football team is headed to the playoffs -- but they need your help to get there. The team's travel budget is just about tapped, so they're asking for donations to help get the whole team to the conference championships in Kansas City July 11, and then hopefully the championship in Austin after that.

Easy Come, Easy Go

The Blackhawks pick up a top scorer from Detroit while the Bulls lose one...to Detroit. They say you can't tell the players without a scorecard but Tailgate is here to help with the arrival of Marian Hossa and the depature of Ben Gordon.

A New Way To Motivate The Cubs

A Cubs fan in Buffalo Grove will be going on a hunger strike until the Cubs get a five-game winning streak -- or until the season ends, whichever comes first.

Players' Least Favorites

Ouch. Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen are the least popular managers in Major League Baseball, according to a Sports Illustrated players poll. [via rasml through @GBtips -- see, it works!]

Even Capone Needed a Vacation

When Al Capone needed a break, he and his cronies headed up to Wisconsin ... and you can too.

The 2016 Blues

It's no surprise, but it still stings a little: if Chicago gets the games in 2016, we are on the hook for the whole tab.

The Webio Plot Thickens

Webio founder David Hernandez was reported missing by his wife one day after the feds announced an investigation into Webio and other companies.

Obama Backs the Bid

In what appears to be preparation for a successful Chicago 2016 bid, President Obama has announced the creation of the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport. The Office's stated goal is to "promote the values of the Olympic Movement" among young people in America (and maybe help to swing a few votes our way). [via]

Say It Ain't Sosa

In what may be the least-surprising disclosure possible to a lot of baseball fans, the New York Times reports that former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa was one of the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug during a league-wide testing in 2003. Oh, well, guess he has to put his Hall of Fame plans on hold indefinately.

Cubs, Sox High Five

Just in time for tonight's possibly over-hyped Cubs-White Sox crosstown showdown comes ESPN Chicago's list of the top five current players in the city. For those fans keeping track the final list includes three White Sox and two Cubs. If you disagree, vote for yourself.

Hopefully They're Not Corked

Longball Cellars has created wines named for Cubs and Sox stars Derrek Lee and Mark Buerhle, with proceeds benefiting the players' favorite charities. Keep in mind that CaberLee and Buerhlot might be more enjoyable to look at than to drink. (Oops, sorry for the Carlos Lee slip-up; you probably already guessed I'm a Sox fan. Thanks for the correction, Mark et al.)

Bouncing Webio

It's interesting times at ChicagoSportsWebio: founding on air personality Mike North was fired after questioning bounced checks, and the FBI is investigating a possible embezzlement case.

L.A.T.E. Ride

There are few things as enjoyable as riding a bike through the streets of Chicago during the late nights of summer. The L.A.T.E. Ride organizes a community of cyclists to do just that. It is Chicago's only midnight bike ride, and it takes place this year on Saturday/Sunday, July 11/12. Early bird registration has ended, but you can still save $5 if you register by June 30.

Maroon Monsters of the Midway

Did you miss the 1903 football matchup between The University of Chicago and the University of Michigan? Thomas Edison didn't. [via]

Ah-One, Ah-Two, Ah-Three...

Harry Caray's famous "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" singing didn't start at Wrigley Field, even if North Siders have made it their own. FuzzyMemories.TV digs up video of Harry leading the 7th Inning Stretch at a Sox game in 1980

Chicago's Still Got Game

Though times may be tough for local video game developer Midway Games, Chicago-based upstart Robomodo has been tapped to develop Ride, the latest entry in the highly successful Tony Hawk franchise. Tony showed off the game and its unique skateboard-shaped controller during the Xbox 360 press conference at E3 last week.

"Chicago doesn't deserve 2016 Olympics"

Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander has some choice words regarding the city's Olympic bid.

But Does He Have Grabowski?

The #1 Bears Fan has collected quite a few more tattoos since we last took a look.

Oi! Man U Gets A Chicago Connection

Iconic international football (soccer) franchise Manchester United has tabbed Chicago-based insurance company Aon as their new principal sponsor. Let's hope there's no curse associated with the honor, considering the fate that befell their old sponsor, a little company called AIG.

Those Bowling Shoes Look Good

The state legislature recently gave bowling alleys protection against the scourge of bowling alley lawsuits. If the legislation passes, you won't be able to sue a bowling alley if you slip and fall wearing their "specialized footwear" after wearing the shoes outside. Rats.

A Deal to Knock Your "Sox" Off?

There's a buzz going around that the struggling White Sox may be close to a deal with San Diego for pitching ace Jake Peavy. Can the Sox pull off what the Cubs couldn't? Could this deal buy beleagured GM Kenny Williams some more time with the fans? Stay tuned...

Atlantis Resurfaces in the Olympic Bid Book

A gem in an otherwise sort of boring collection of proposed facilities, the proposed aquatics complex in the Chicago 2016 bid book looks beautiful, and allays worries of some monstrosity floating off the coastline. [via]

Catching the Waves at Rainbow Beach

Wax up your board! The Park District is considering opening five beaches for surfing this summer.

Hawks Flying High

In case you were wondering what that big roar was last night, that was a city collectively cheering for the Blackhawks who downed the Vancouver Canucks to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1995. The young guns were led by Patrick Kane's hat trick. Now... bring on the Red Wings (maybe). Get more Hawk talk in Tailgate.

The World is a Game

Chicag0 is the Chicago offshoot of SF0 (which originally started here, actually), a massive "collaborative production game" played online and off. They just completed a game last weekend; learn more and join before the next one's announced.

The Semi-Pro Wrestler

As we discovered in The Wrestler, pro wrestling isn't always glamorous. When you get down to the local level, it can be downright gritty. But the allure was still too great for Vito "Two Fingers" Fontaine, sausage purveyor and local wrestling star. [via]

Here Come The Hawks

The Blackhawks turn back the Calgary Flames with a 4-1 victory Monday night to win their first-round NHL playoff series. It's the first time the Hawks have advanced to the conference semifinals since 1996. They now face the Vancouver Canucks in Round 2. While the dates haven't been set yet, here's something to get you in the mood.

Bleacher Bones

Bohemian National Cemetery built a red brick replica of the wall at Wrigley's center field where deceased fans of the Cubs may be interred until Doomsday or the next time the team win the World Series. Whichever comes first. (Previously.)

On Guard

Looks like Celtics guard Tony Allen may have more to worry about than basketball while he's in town. Allen, who is originally from Chicago, is under tightened security after receiving death threats.

Fridge on Ice

Former Chicago Bear William "The Refrigerator" Perry is currently in South Carolina's Aiken Regional Medical Center, suffering from the effects of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The Fridge is expected to recover.

Rose Rises To The Top

Media outlets including the Chicago Tribune, and even the Bulls website itself, are reporting that Bulls' superstar-in-training Derrick Rose will be named NBA Rookie of the Year at a 2 p.m. news conference. This has been your "Duh" news for the day.

Playoffs: Icing On The Cake For Hawks

When the soaring Blackhawks hit the ice tonight in the third game of their best-of-seven playoff series against Calgary, it'll be one more boost to their ever-growing fan base. Crain's Chicago Business' Ed Sherman explains.

Wax Pack Memoirs

Cardboard Gods is a blog about baseball cards, in the same way Bull Durham is about baseball.

Script Bs and Flying Socks

Buried in this post about pro sports trademarks are obscure logos for the Bears and White Sox.

Noooooo Games

Whether you're in favor of the Olympics coming to Chicago or not, you have to admit that this is a pretty clever t-shirt.

Hook, Line and Bulletin Board

Wondering where the fish are biting? The hunters and fishermen on Chi-Town Angler know.

RIP Harry Kalas

Harry Kalas, Hall of Fame broadcaster of the Philadelphia Phillies, the voice of NFL films and Naperville native, died today after collapsing in the booth before a game. Anyone who has imagined them self in grainy slow motion catching a touchdown should take a moment.

Someone Has Too Much Time, Cruelty on Their Hands

Disappointing, disgusting and unfunny: a dead goat was found hanging on a statue of Harry Caray that sits outside Wrigley Field this morning.

It's Parkour Kids!

It seems not everyone is impressed with the Chicago parkour scene. [Thanks, Dubi!]

Survey Says:

The results of the Sun-Times' annual Sports Fan Survey are in, and optimism is (surprisingly?) high.

Olympic Bid Clears Another Hurdle

According to ESPN, Chicago is getting high marks from IOC officials following their visit to our fair city. The news is bound to make fans of the city's 2016 bid very happy. Others...not so much.

140 Characters from Home Plate

Watch today's Cubs-Brewers game in Twittertime.

Our Teams

Bulls&
Bears&
Hawks&
Cubs. Or Sox.

And The World Cup Too?

Besides the 2016 Olympics, it's possible Chicago --Soldier Field to be precise-- could be the site of the World Cup.

Root, Root, Root For The Home Team...

...no matter where your affiliation lies. The City of Chicago helps kick off the start of the baseball season with a "Play Ball, Chicago" rally tomorrow from 10am to 3pm at Daley Plaza. Of course, fans of the White Sox and Cubs will be honored (and kept at a safe distance from each other), but also the Kane County Cougars, Windy City Thunderbolts, Joliet Jackhammers, Schaumburg Flyers and Gary SouthShore RailCats.

MJ:HOF

Michael Jordan was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame today. Here's a slideshow of His Airness through the years. Share your thoughts in Tailgate.

Opening D(el)ay

The non-baseball-like weather has forced the postponement of the White Sox season opener vs. Kansas City at U.S. Cellular Field. The Cubs, meanwhile, are still a go for their season opener tonight in Houston. Ah, the benefits of a retractable roof stadium.

Which Neighborhoods are Worthy?

Speaking of the IOC's visit, WBEZ reports the Chicago map handed out to visiting dignitaries was far from complete.

Following the IOC Evaluation Group

The Trib is keeping tabs on the progress of the IOC tour of the city, while its readers are having a lively discussion about the merits of the whole shebang.

A Truly Integrated Golf Course

The AP throws the South Side a little love with this feature on the 18 hole Jackson Park Golf Course, which was built in 1899 and is the oldest public golf course west of the Alleghenies.

Bears Get Cutler

Ironically, a day after April Fool's Day comes a story that seems too hard to believe: The Sun-Times is reporting that the Bears have landed Jay Cutler, the highly-sought after disgruntled (former) Denver quarterback. They reportedy had to surrender a slew of draft picks and QB Kyle Orton, but hey... It's Jay Cutler!

Ramping Up

Grab your board! The Logan Square Skate Park is officially open.

Olympic Opposition

With the IOC's upcoming visit approaching, resistance to the Olympic bid is making national news.

Say "Goodbye" to Basketball

Yesterday IIT announced it is canceling its men's and women's basketball teams to free up resources for other activities.

One Heck of a Way to Lose

The North Lawndale basketball coach isn't blaming the technical foul for their 65-66 loss, but the team probably wasn't psyched it got the foul for its uniforms.

Cubs Still the Trib's for Now

It looks like the Tribune Company won't be selling the Cubs until after opening day. MLB insiders say the sale probably won't actually happen until mid-May at the earliest.

Our President is Cooler Than Your President

"The President released his 2009 NCAA College Basketball Tournament bracket today." He posted it on his blog. And if that's not cool enough for you, he will be a guest on "The Tonight Show" tomorrow.

Small On Size, Big On Soccer

Tailgate's Steve Gillies continues his excellent series on the city's best soccer-watching bars to get your footy on. Today: The Small Bar.

Putting the Fantasy Back in Football

After years of competing with aging rockers and puppies during the Super Bowl halftime show, the Lingerie Football League will finally kick off their inaugural season this fall. Tickets to see the Chicago Bliss in one of their two home games go on sale this Monday.

It's His Wee Beady Eyes

Can a slightly soggy statue of Colonel Sanders help break the Cubs' curse? The Hanshin Tigers seem to think so.

Could The Fridge Fit in the Lincoln Bedroom?

Obama's love of Chicago sports reared its head again recently, as The Daily Show's John Stewart pointed out on last night's show (it comes at about the 2:00 mark). Let's just say the Bulls get a little spanking from Stewart and even the '85 Bears come under scrutiny.

Calling All Sports Fans

The Sun-Times wants you to voice your opinions (and/or vent your frustrations) on the state of Chicago athletics for their second annual Sports Fan Survey.

Say It Ain't So, Joe

Former Sox thirdbaseman Joe Crede? On the Twins? THOSE Twins? C'mon, Joe, ANYBODY but the Twins. More in Tailgate.

Raising the Net

Today's Layer Tennis match doesn't start till 2pm, but the first-ever qualifying match got underway at noon, and it's between two locals: Fuzzy Gerdes and Mig Reyes.

Wrestlemania

The Tribune featured portraits of local pro wrestlers yesterday. Want to catch them in action? Check out ChicagoProWrestling.com.

There in Spirit

If you or someone you know can't make it to the auto show, or if you're like me and just want to check out how crowded it is before you head down to McCormick Place, the show's website has virtual tours, photos and a live webcam.

"Creativity in short supply"

We know what some of you think about the Olympic bid, but most public critiques haven't spent much time on the architecture. Blair Kamin starts the discussion with a serious critique.

Olympic Bid Leaves Out the CTA

Jon Hilkevitch reports that Chicago's Olympic bid book doesn't include an overhaul of the CTA -- only shuttle service between train stops. You can review the whole bid book by downloading it here. Let us know what you think of the Olympic bid in Fuel.

Pax Packing His Bags?

Has Bulls GM John Paxson had enough? Maybe it's the team's 23-30 record. Maybe it was the booing he received at the team's recent tribute to Johnny "Red" Kerr. Either way, Pax is reportedly stepping down as the team's general manager.

Not Just Any Old Pinups

What happens when you get a dozen fabulous female cyclists together in Chicago, introduce some introspection and give one of them a camera? The Thought You Knew Us Pinup Calendar, of course. Twelve Chicago cyclists, ranging from road warriors to bike messengers to everyday saddle lovers got together to explore public perception of women cyclists and to raise money for the Chicago Women's Health Center which keeps many of them on the road. Learn more, including where you can get your own here.

Ramirez to Joel to John

Elton John and Billy Joel will be playing Wrigley Field this summer, with ticket prices ranging from $55 to $175. Maybe they'll make a stop at Piano Man, too.

Cub World Cam

This will probably be more interesting in a few months, but hey, I like seeing what's going on outside Wrigley anyway. [Thanks, Gabe!]

Get Your Carts Ready

The 2009 Chiditerod grocery cart race is now accepting team applications. Race is March 7.

Sox Catching a Bounce from Obama

The White Sox are selling a whole lot of hats thanks to the Fan in Chief.

"Eastbound & Down" Screening and Contest

As if one contest wasn't enough, we also have 10 VIP tickets to give away to a screening of HBO's new series "Eastbound & Down" tomorrow night. Details in Tailgate.

Another Step Towards Olympia

The Olympic bid moves further along with all of the Olympic federations signing off on the city's venues.

Obama Invited To Throw First Pitch

The White Sox have invited President Obama to throw the first pitch of their season. Seeing as they're going up against the Royals it's bound to be a good start to a good game...at least to us Southsiders.

Birds or Balls?

If the Olympics come to town, the new tennis complex will be sited just north of the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Lincoln Park. Guess who might be concerned about such placement?

Gone But Still in Need of Negative Attention

Former S-T sports columnist Jay Mariotti says Roger Ebert "can kiss my ass." Even more amusing (and delusional): Mariotti goes on to say "AOL is positioned for a boom era when the economy cooperates."

And The Winner Is...

The Ricketts family, led by local financier Tom Ricketts, have apparently placed the winning bid for ownership of the Cubs and Wrigley Field. A front-runner from the start, it looks like most hardcore fans will approve of the choice.

Let the Fans Sing

There's a movement afoot to get Cubs management to let one regular, non-celebrity fan sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch once a season. (Is that too much to ask?) Sign the petition here.

Flying Through the Air

The Reader profiles Michael "Frosti" Zernow, one of Chicago's parkour stars.

Discounting the Drive

Bike the Drive will be May 24 this year -- and registration opened today. Register before Jan. 25 and they'll knock $7 off the fee.

Next, They Go After The Parker Bros.

The Cubs are close to a deal with Milton Bradley. No, not this one. This one. Although the latter has been known to be "trouble." Get it, Trouble?

Return of Mariotti

Ex-Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti makes his debut on AOL Sports Monday. The S-T's Kyle Koster shares some thoughts here.

Get Started On That Resolution

If "get in shape" was on your list, the Chicago Park District can help: for two weeks starting today, all Park District fitness centers are free. [via]

An Instant Classic

If you couldn't make it there's a detailed review and some videos of the Winter Classic over at the Beachwood Reporter.

Bear Downer

Even with their Playoff Express cleared for landing (thanks to losses by Dallas and Tampa Bay), the Bears still managed to crash and burn. Their loss to Houston knocked them out of the playoff picture and now the autopsies begin. But despite the disappointment, the Bleacher Report says we shouldn't have been surprised.

Cold Construction

Watch the ice rink in Wrigley Field being built in real time. Not exactly riveting action, but interesting viewing nonetheless.

"Living the Dream"

There are Luvabulls, Incredibulls and even Swingin Seniors, but none of them have anything on the Matadors.

What's The Rush?

They were one of the better teams in the Arena Football League (most recently winning the 2008 Central Division), but now the Chicago Rush will be sitting on the sidelines with the rest of the AFL after the league shut down operations for the 2009 season. This leaves Chicago with only one indoor football team, the Chicago Slaughter, coached by one Steve "Mongo" McMichael, which should thrill '85 Bears fans.

The Coolest Temporary Ice Rink

On January 4, Wrigleyville denizens will have the opportunity to skate on the ice rink that will be constructed in Wrigley Field for the Winter Classic hockey game. The Cubs announced the event via e-mail to neighbors and neighborhood groups. A $10 ticket will get you one hour of ice time, but you have to bring your own skates. Update: Here's the link to the ticket information. Tickets go on sale at 10AM, Monday the 15th.

Crazy Flipper Fingers

Yes, in the age of Wii and Golden Tee, people still play pinball. In fact there's a "tournament of champions" going on in Schaumburg this weekend. You can still enter so you may want to start loosening up those fingers.

Bears Win By A Foot

Yes, the Bears won last night with a 27-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints. But they did so with another of their now-patented see-saw battles, bursting out of the gate and then struggling to win. Thank God for Robbie Gould, but can we have one sure-thing, blowout victory please?

Cubs Forsake Jake

All that back and forth stuff about the Cubs obtaining pitching ace Jake Peavy? Forget about it. The Cubs have said thanks but no thanks.

Surf Second City

Surfboards are banned from Chicago's beaches -- but maybe not for long.

For the High Minded Fan

Sport Literate is a "literary journal focusing on 'honest reflections on life's leisurely diversions.'"

Teaching Jocks at U of I

The U of I is generating controversy with the Irwin Center, a $6 million athletes-only tutoring center.

Urlacher's Dirty Diapers

Brian Urlacher's son's mother says the football star paints his son's toenails blue and dresses him in pink diapers. Apparently, she sees this as cause for keeping the boy away from his father.

Everybody's President?

A friend and fellow Cubs fan joked to me the other day he was re-thinking his vote because he's tired of seeing Obama in Sox gear on the national news. Yesterday, the President-Elect's press team miffed at least one reporter by nonchalantly invoking the rivalry.

Everyone Has a Passion

For one man, that passion is White Sox baseball cards.

Manager of the (Near) Year

Small consolation, we're sure, but Cubs manager Lou Pinella has been named NL Manager of the Year. Before some of you start wondering how (given the team's stupendous collapse in the playoffs), the awards are voted on before the post-season starts.

Will We See More of Chief Illiniwek?

In an unusual turn of events, a student group is sponsoring an updated Chief Illiniwek dance at the U of I. One of the reasons, apparently, is that it inspired at least one student "to be a complete man."

Roll of the 20-Sided Die

Chicagoland gamers, welcome to the Dice Doho.

Training Elementary Students for Medieval Battle

That's right, Pershing West Magnet School offers elementary school students archery classes [right side of page].

"A Tattoo You Can Believe In"

Washington Wizard Gilbert Arenas has some new ink: "'Change We Believe In' tattooed onto the fingers of his left hand in cursive writing," as well as 44 (Obama will be the 44th POTUS) on the outside of his pinky.

Say Hey

Sam Zell is sticking firm to his $1 billion asking price for the Cubs, even in the souring economy. But apparently Mark Cuban is out despite his $1.3 billion offer.

Close But No Cigar, Cuban

Cubs fans dreaming of having fan-friendly sports owner Mark Cuban running things on Clark and Addison got their bubble burst by MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who reportedly has nixed a sale to Cuban.

A Whole Other Ticket Raffle

No, not for Grant Park tonight, for the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, Jan. 1, 2009. A free drawing for a chance to purchase tickets will be offered online at the Chicago Blackhawks' site. Register there starting 11am Wednesday, Nov. 5th until 11pm Nov. 28th.

Get Back in Shape

Chicago-based Holos Fitness figures it's easier to stick to a workout plan if you've got company, so it aims to serve as a social network centered around fitness.

Feel Good About Chicago Baseball

Tune in to WYCC at 6:30pm on November 9th for the premiere of Buck O'Neil and Black Baseball in Chicago. O'Neil was a Negro League player and coach and subsequently spent more than 30 years with the Cubs becoming the first black coach in the majors. More info at the Chicago Baseball Museum website.

Promote Chicago 2016, Win

Chicago 2016 is running a video contest starting today. Submit a video by Nov. 25 telling the world why Chicago should host the Games in 2016. Five finalists will be chosen by online vote and will be featured on NBC 5's "Chicago Today" show starting Dec. 1. The winner of the contest will receive fabulous prizes.

A Savvy Move By The Blackhawks?

Just four games into the season, the Blackhawks have canned coach Denis Savard, ironically after the team notched it's first win of the year. Jeremy Piniak has the details over in Tailgate.

These are the Runners in Our Neighborhoods

Runners in this year's Chicago Marathon were grateful for the added spirit (and plentiful water) offered by neighborhood spectators and volunteers. Lion dancers greeted runners in Chinatown, while Little Italy had cheerleaders and Pilsen's West 18th street had speakers playing Latin music.

William Murray: One Bitter Cubs Fan

Courting the National League vote on SNL's Thursday Night special.

It's Better to Be a Loser

The sports editor of The Vicksburg (MS) Post believes the Cubs' image will change for the worse if they ever win the World Series again, so Cubs fans should really "be careful what you wish for" when it comes to their team trying to shed that "loveable loser" moniker. If Cubs fans really cared what other people thought, I'm guessing there probably wouldn't be many Cubs fans out there.

Etch-a-Cub

An Etch-a-Sketch paean to the 2008 Cubs.

Help Them Win Next Year

The best way to relieve the Cubs of their playoff "curse"? Stop caring so much.

Bartman Bounty Grows

First, a sports collectible convention offered him $25,000 to make an appearance. Now a fantasy sports website has upped the ante to $100,000 for Steve Bartman to show up at a Cubs game. Hold out for a cool million, Steve-o, then buy the entire leftfield box seat section for yourself.

Fukudome To You Too, Pal

As if the Cubs didn't have enough problems, one of their player's name is being mistaken for a swear word. Good thing this guy isn't still their pitching coach.

Darn Those Cubs!

The Cubs dropped to 0-2 against the Dodgers. Uh-oh.

Darn Those Sox!

The South Siders fall 6-4 to the Devil Rays in Florida in Game 1 of their American League playoff series. Javier Vazquez was....well, let's just say he was there.

Mayor Places Sausage, Nuts on the Line

Showing faith in a White Sox win, the mayor has bet three Florida mayors that the White Sox will beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Apparently seeking intestinal vengeance, should he lose, Daley has wagered Vitner potato chips, Lemonheads from Ferrara Pan Candy, a "Pepsi for a Year" certificate, assorted peanuts, sunflower seeds, and trail mix from Fisher Nuts, and 100 Vienna Beef Polish sausages. Why, the headline just wrote itself, didn't it?

100 Years and Counting

A Cubs timeline from the NY Times.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame...No, Me!

So the Cubs lost yesterday. Doesn't mean that tickets for their game tonight are in any less demand. In fact, a brother and sister are headed to court over who gets the valuable pieces of cardboard.

History Made

For the first time in more than a hundred years, the White Sox and Cubs are in the playoffs together, after the Sox beat the Twins 1-0 in a division tie-breaker tonight.

His Swan Song

It's been called "Wrigley Field North" for the way that Cubs fans take over Miller Park when their team plays there. That sort of exhuberance cost one man his job. But then he works for the Brewers so you can see where that might be a problem.

Drooping Sox

Needing one win in Minneapolis to maintain a hold on first place in the AL Central, the White Sox came up short, losing to the Twins 7-6 in 10-innings Thursday night and getting swept in three games. The loss dropped them out of first place. More in Tailgate.

Cheaters Never Win

Is Alphonso Soriano having an affair? The Cubs star has been seen quite a bit with a woman other than Mrs. Soriano. [via]

When Cubs Fans Attack

Maybe the 7th inning booze ban isn't such a bad idea, in light of the death of a Cubs fan at the hands of other Cubs fans. This isn't the first serious brawl this season, either.

7th Inning Dry Stretch

The City is asking Wrigleyville bars to stop serving after the 7th inning during Cubs playoff games to avoid mayhem in the streets. Share your opinion in Tailgate.

Girls Got Game

In Tailgate, our sports section, Ken Green interviews one of the producers of Girl/Gamer, a documentary examining the culture of women in video- and role-playing games.

Game of the Century?

In case you haven't heard, the Cubs are on the verge of moving a step closer to removing that 100-year-old World Series albatross from around their necks. With a win today (and a Milwaukee loss), they clinch a spot in the playoffs. But manager Lou Pinella says hold off on the champagne.

Don't Stop Believin'

Eddie Vedder, lifelong Cubs fan, sings "Someday We'll Go All the Way." Download it here. (Thanks, Chris!)

Mariotti Not Switching Teams

Ex-Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti will not be joining the Tribune staff as rumors had reported -- thus avoiding having to share a room with some of the very people he villainized in the past. Mariotti commented on the situation to the Reader's Michael Miner.

Out Of Bounds

A local high school football coach lost his job this week. No, not for producing a winless season. For robbing a bank. How many yards do you get penalized for that?

Ike Spikes Cubs

As if their recent up-and-down play weren't enough frustration for their fans, now comes word that Hurricane Ike has put the kibosh on the first two games of the Cubs-Astros series in Houston, which was to begin tomorrow. No word on Sunday's contest.

Root Root Root for the Cubbies

ESPN presents "No Love Lost," video interviews with Cubs fans aged 7 to 100 -- including Ronni Woo Woo and Billy Corgan.

No Metal Baseball Bats for Minors?

Alderman Fioretti is taking on the "metal bat cartel" by proposing a ban on the use of metal bats by those under 18. He says, "It's not a question of foie gras. That's what choice is. This is an issue of actual injury." Hm.

Chi-lympic Haters Have a Mascot

Phelps may be for Chicago's Olympic bid, but some are not so hot on the prospect.

Score One for the Home Team

Sports blog East Coast Bias took a trip to Wrigley Field this past weekend and (surprise!) they kinda liked it.

Barry Bonds Signs to Chicago Tee-Ball Team?

Sad what passes for funny these days. Leave it to the Onion.

Michael Phelps Wins the Gold Medal for Media Overexposure

Just to remind you, our favorite ravenous Olympian will be in town today to appear at Oprah's season opener and to also appear at a webcast discussion at 5:15pm about bringing the games to Chicago in 2016.

150 Olympians, Oprah and You

We've all missed out on getting seat tickets for Oprah's 10am Wednesday taping in Millennium Park, but show up at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion that morning and get a shot at lawn seats.

Supporting Chicago is a "Privilege"

At present, there are no public appearances scheduled, but Michael Phelps will be in town on Wednesday to boost the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics. If you're a fan, perhaps staking out your local pool will help you catch a glimpse.

Mariotti: Out of Print

Reviled Sun-Times sportswriter Jay Mariotti quit yesterday, apparently in a spat over not getting to write this column about Obama dissing the Cubs. Read Ken Green's thoughts on it (and add your own two cents) in Tailgate.

Pork My Ride

Even if you're a newer scooter rider (scooterer?), you should make your way to Slaughterhouse XIV this weekend. It's one of the country's biggest scooter rallies, and for $5 you get access to all sorts of events and rides, starting Thursday at Delilah's. Mount up!

The End of An Error?

Love him or hate him (and from the looks of readers' responses most thought it was a mistake to print his columns in the first place), you won't have Jay Mariotti to kick around anymore, at least in print. He walked away from his Sun-Times gig yesterday. Might inter-office skirmishes be the reason?

Let's See That One Again (and Again)

The last holdout against the practice of official review of plays (namely disputed home run calls) via instant replay, Major League Baseball will begin using the practice as of Thursday.

Biking the Boulevards

Want to get in one last big bike ride this summer? Thanks to the Chicago Bike Federation, if you sign up for the Boulevard Lakefront Tour by August 27, you'll get $5 off for being a Gapers Block reader.

100 Years of Bad

Just One Bad Century is celebrating the centennial of the Cubs' last World Series win by comparing players from the 1908 team with today's boys in blue, position by position.

Racing on Lake Shore

Ron from Big Happy Funhouse tipped us to this site dedicated to Robert Lester and Team Wink, amateur racer and one of several members of The Outer Drive Hero Drivers Club, which runs clue-based car rallies in Chicagoland even today.

Want Some Attention?

Make a video about why Chicago should host the Olympics and post it on the new (beta) Olympic video site.

Let's See How He Does Against the Cards

The Cubs' Ryan Dempster isn't just an ace pitcher -- he's also an amateur magician. (And a so-so Harry Caray impersonator.)

And the Bears' Starting QB is...

Kyle Orton.

Olympiana

If you aren't getting enough of the Olympics in your daily media diet, you might be interested in the Chicago 2016 bid committee's blog from China. By the way, the president of Atlanta's Olympic committee says the Games would be good for Chicago -- you know, like they were for his town.

Do You Have the Right Stuff?

If you want to know, 25 Navy SEALs will be testing fitness at UIC on September 6. If you're up for the challenge, register now.

Regional Olympic Support and Struggles

In an Olympic angle amazingly un(der)covered by the media, the Trib takes a look at suburban support -- and lack thereof -- for the Olympics.

Weekend Air Show ... on Thursday

If you want to catch the Chicago Air and Water Show early, head down to Gary for the practice show today.

Dingys in the Deep

It may not have coral reefs, but apparently Lake Michigan offers scuba divers something very unique. Being a large cold body of fresh water makes it ideal to preserve shipwrecks.

Addressing Lacism

Stir-Friday Night, Chicago's longstanding Asian-American improv troupe, debuted Horry Kow, That's Lacist! last Friday at Donny's Skybox Theatre in Pipers Alley, if you couldn't guess from the title, it touches on the infamous Fukudome shirts and other subtle and not-so-subtle forms of racism.

Parkways as Parks

The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation is launching a new program called Sunday Parkways, which will give riders and pedestrians in Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, North Lawndale and Little Village the opportunity to bike through their neighborhoods on streets without cars.

The Party's Over

No more tailgate? No, not this one, we mean the extended partying that goes on at the Soldier Field parking lot during Bears games. Beginning tomorrow night, the Bears say once the game starts, you'll have to put the booze and the brats away. Needless to say, fans are a bit miffed.

Lassoing the Great Lakes

The Weiszes just got back from a 17 day loop of the Great Lakes, which they conscientiously documented with restaurant reviews, photographs and tales from the road. If you'd like more reading about looping the Great Lakes, you may want to check out Ted McClelland's The Third Coast, which was excerpted in Detour.

Chicago 2016 on Facebook

Your choice: pro or con.

Eight Oh-eight Oh-eight

With the news of border raids, censorship and pollution dominating the Olympic experience so far, the competing athlete's stories are a little lost in the noise. Chicago has more than a few locals carrying the torch. They include a diver from the family that owns Cubby Bear and the only Mexican national team wrestler with a Polish name. The SunTimes has a round-up.

WCR To Rock Fox

Chicago's favorite women on wheels, the Windy City Rollers, will be giving you a wake-up call when they appear on Fox News Good Day Chicago (Ch. 32) tomorrow at 8:10 and 8:30 a.m. They'll be skating around the newsroom promoting their upcoming match as well as "some other exciting news" according to their release. If you miss it, you can check it out on the Fox-32 website.

Tequila In Good Spirits

Good news from the world of local roller derby: Tequila Mockingbird (aka Tahira Johnson) has taken her first steps since being paralyzed from the neck down on Aug. 25, 2007 while skating for The Fury of the Windy City Rollers roller derby league. The progress is a testiment to Tequila's determination as well as the tireless fund-raising efforts of her fellow skaters. Read more about it here.

Bike Socially

The Chain Link is a new social network for the city's bicyclists.

A Minor-League Fight

The Cubs' minor league feeder, the Peoria Chiefs, got in a big brawl yesterday; details (including video) in Tailgate.

Flying Smurfs, Pizza, Mustache

The Flugtag organizers have posted sketches of this year's flying hopefuls. If you want to know more about the last event, they've got history there too.

Watch Them Go All the Way

The undefeated Chicago Force women's football team play the Dallas Diamonds in the IWFL National Championship Saturday night, right here in Chicago. Tickets are just $15, available in advance until midnight tonight.

Brett Favre ...a Bear?

Probably not. But maybe.

Baseball and the Olympics

Chicago's 2016 Olympics boosters are hoping an Major League Baseball official's statements don't jinx their chances.

Father, Son and Holy Cow

Introducing Beyond the Vines, the Cubs-themed mausoleum.

The 'Sweet' Life

There's a book signing next week for "Sweet Swinging" Billy Williams, a Cub legend. Read about it here.

Not One, But Two

Speaking of domes, plans to create a multi-million dollar fitness center are making progress [lower right side] on the South Side.

We Bet He'll 'Say Anything'

Evanston native and actor John Cusak swears he bleeds Cubbie blue...but he's learned to be flexible about liking the White Sox, especially after 2005. But we'll cut him some slack on being a "switch-hitter", especially since he has a connection to the Sox, cinematically speaking.

Rose Returns to Chicago

The Chicago Bulls have selected Chicagoan Derrick Rose (who played collegiately at Memphis) as the #1 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Get Outta Town

Time Out has a few beach-bound road trip suggestions for you this weekend. On the other hand, you might prefer camping along the area's rail trails.

Marathoners' Last Chance

Individual sign-ups for the Chicago Marathon are closed, but you can still get in by joining a group running for a charity, such as Best Buddies Illinois or Rock for Reading.

The First Volley in Lakefront Ad Wars?

It seems Nike put some illegal ads on the lakefront path on Friday.

5 to 7 in the 5th

The Cubs in Haiku.

State Drops the Ball on Wrigley

The State's bid to buy Wrigley Field from the Tribune failed to make it out of the infield in a clash over how to finance the deal. Does this open the door for Mark Cuban to buy the team and stadium lock, stock and barrel?

No Olympics Yet, But Big Deals Underway

After months of discussion, Michael Reese Hospital will likely close this fall, clearing the way for massive Olympic redevelopment plans.

International Oddsmakers vs the IOC

By now, we know Chicago is on the short list to host the Olympics, but the NYTimes goes one step further by comparing oddsmakers' ratings to those of the IOC.

Exactly What It Sounds Like.

Finally, a blog for Chicago Pub Quiz Addicts.

Chicago in Olympics Final Four

We made it into the final group of four cities vying to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Alongside Chicago are Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo.

Midwest Wine Country

Looking for a unique activity for an upcoming summer weekend? How 'bout a tour of Michigan wineries?

Closing In On 2016

Chicago gets one step closer to hosting the 2016 Olympics tomorrow, as the International Olympic Committee narrows the list of potential cities from 7 to around 4. The short list, expected to include Chicago, will be announced tomorrow in a big ceremony in Athens, Greece and the winning city will be announced in October 2009. Yes, another 16 months of waiting....

Shoot from the Hip

Chicago Assassins watergun assassin club starts its summer tournament next week. Have what it takes? Read the rules and sign up here.

Struck Out

Geremi Gonzalez, who was a Cubs rookie in 1997 (but who most recently played for the Yomiuri Giants), died on Sunday at the age of 33 after being struck by lightning on a beach in Venezuela.

1:32 Scale Vroom Vroom

It seems that basement slot-car racing has quite a following in Chicago and elsewhere, according to this recent Wall Street Journal article.

Time to Start Believing?

The Sox made it eight wins in a row last night. More thoughts on this great run -- and whether it's safe to get on the bandwagon yet -- in Tailgate.

Ouch.

Flickr user BlueFairlane demonstrates why it's important to wear a helmet when cycling ... and why cars drivers need to watch what they're doing.

Around the Field

Out of the Ballpark, which we've mentioned before, has expanded to cover not just Wrigley but also The Cell -- and the areas around stadiums in some other cities as well.

Maybe that 2am Stroll Wasn't a Great Idea

Rashard Mendenhall, current Pittsburgh Steelers player and former Illini star was robbed at gunpoint along the lake late last night.

The Dancers Call Him "Stats"

The Boston Celtics' statistical "secret weapon" (and U of C grad) Mike Zarren gets the Freakonomics treatment in the New York Times magazine.

Let's Play Two

A look at the rare Chicago vs. New York City baseball "double-header" we had in town yesterday, from a New York Times perspective.

Sue-a-Bull

Don Kalant, an oral surgeon from Naperville, is suing the Chicago Bulls for injuries he suffered at the hands of the team's mascot at a February game. During a spirited high-five with Kalant, Benny the Bull reportedly tripped and hyperextended Kalant's arm, rupturing his biceps muscle.

Another Bicyclist Death

In another tragic car-bicycle accident, 22 year-old Tyler Fabeck was struck and killed early Sunday morning.

Not Even Close

According to the U.S. Olympic Committee chief Peter Ueberroth (and he should know, right?), Chicago is "not anywhere near first" when it comes to the bidding for the 2016 Olympics. Think about it: it's possible we're pulling up the rear with Baku, Azerbaijan (whose name, ironically, means "windy city").

April Is The Cruelest Month

Would any other fan write poetry about their losing baseball team? I doubt the White Sox have inspired verse, but the Cubs apparently have.

Chinese Protests Go National

While the Olympic torch was in San Francisco yesterday, the Tibetan community in Chicago was active with a protest of their own.

The Slippery Slope

Not that anyone wants to think about winter after this glorious weekend, but the Swallow Cliff toboggan slides (also known as "Terror Hill") in Palos Township are in danger of demolition. The mayor of Palos Park and other concerned south suburban citizens want to preserve the slides. Those with happy childhood memories of sliding down the slope at 65 mph under the constant threat of contusions, concussion, and broken bones are invited to contact the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and protest.

So Ends That, Right?

Almost five years later, Moises Alou comes clean. He couldn't have caught the ball anyway.

'Big Ben' To Toll For UK?

Bulls' star Ben Gordon, along with teammate Luol Deng, have been tapped by the Brits to play for their national team in the Eurobasket qualifying tournament, a springboard to 2012 Olympic Games. Why Gordon and Deng? Well, Deng moved to London to escape conflict in his native Sudan while Gordon was born in London but moved to the U.S. shortly afterwards.

New Sections, New Staff

If you've been exploring the new design, you may have spotted a new blog: Tailgate, our freshly minted sports blog. We're looking for writers, so if you're into sports (or know someone who is), get in touch. Conversely, if you're into arts & culture, we're looking for a few bright folks for A/C, too.

Are the Friendly Confines Getting Feisty?

The NYTimes turns its attention to the hundred year itch on the North Side.

Chicago Hope(s)

Baseball season kicked off today (yes, today...in Japan no less) so it might be a good time to take a look at what one sports website thinks of the prospects of the White Sox and Cubs this season.

100 Reasons

Why this will be the year for the Cubs.

The Sagacious Don Guillote

Despite the snow on the ground, Baseball's Opening Day (the great ritual of spring) is only ten days away! Southsiders can get in the mood by catching up with Carl Skanberg's "Palehose8: An Illustrated History of Sagacious Don Guillote."

I'm #1, For a Price

If you're planning to ride in the May 25 Bike the Drive event, a few Ebay bids began today to buy Bibs #1 and #2 and to select your own unique bib number; the proceeds benefit the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. The auctions end March 28.

Upwards and Onwards!

In what is clearly the most important sporting contest of the year, Chicagoan Jesse Lucas Berg won Seattle's Big Climb.

Gum Park

Chicago Cubs Sell Stadium Naming Rights To Chewing Gum Company. Heh.

And Then There Were Two

The Bears won't have Brian Griese to kick around anymore. He's off to Tampa Bay, where at least he'll be warmer. That leaves Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton to duke it out for QB supremacy.

Embedded in Chiditarod

That massive 360° coverage campaign the Methods Reporter planned for last weekend's Chiditarod really paid off.

Industrial-Strength Anthem for Hawks

Who knew? Industrial music godfather Al Jourgensen (Ministry) is a big Blackhawks fan. So big that he has written a new anthem for the team, "Keys To The City", that will debut on March 5. Jourgensen said he hopes the song "inspires some awesome fights on the ice."

Cover the Chiditarod

If you're planning to watch the Chiditarod this weekend, The Methods Reporter would like to make you a correspondent.

The Perfect Dog-Gone Gift

What do you get your dog-owner friend who has everything, including a tendency to get lost? This tote bag for carrying dog toys, dog treats, and doggie bags to the dog park.

Big Three-Way Trade for the Bulls

Ben Wallace and Joe Smith are gone-- off to Cleveland. Adrian Griffin to Seattle. Cleveland sends Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown to the Bulls. Wally Szczerbiak goes from Seattle to Cleveland.

Not Leaving Chicago When You Leave Chicago

The Trib has the scoop on hanging out with the Cubs and White Sox in Arizona.

Ivy Licensing

Noted in this interview with EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty, Chicago has a business license designation of "Wrigley Field," which applies to the rooftop decks on Waveland and Sheffield.

Pitchers and Catchers Report... They've Been Robbed!

Bases aren't the only thing being stolen as spring training begins. Three Cubs players were among the victims of a Mesa, Arizona burgler.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Merchandise Mart and Tokyo's Imperial Hotel

What do they have in common? Lincoln Logs! Check out bullet #3 in this Mental Floss article to find out the connections.

A Decade Without Stars

As if this season's 18-27 record isn't bad enough, the Chicago Bulls haven't had an All-Star performer in 10 years!

This Year's Marathon™

Registration for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon™ (yep, that's the new name) opens tomorrow. Runners, on your mark.

Vote Cubs

Got a favorite Cubs blog or site? Vote for it in Cubscast's first annual Strodes Awards.

Windy City Rollers 2008 Season Opener

You haven't seen a roller derby bout yet? Let's amend that ASAP. The Windy City Rollers, Chicago's all-girl roller derby league, has its first game of the 2008 season next Saturday, January 26. Check out their website for tickets and info.

Love Letter to High School Basketball

Local teacher Will Okun in the New York Times.

Evanston's Animal House

A fraternity at Northwestern is under investigation for hosting a midget wrestling ring.

$2,000,000,000 Estimated for Olympics

Officials estimate the costs of a 2016 Olympic Games in Chicago at $2 billion: $900 million for venue construction and $1.1 billion for an Olympic Village near McCormick Place. But calculating the costs of an Olympics is notoriously imprecise enterprise. London's 2012 games could cost four times the city's initial estimates. Here's Chicago's Olympic application.

An Olympic-sized Makeover

While the city gets set to unveil a detailed plan of its 2016 Olympic bid Tuesday, it seems we're still fighting the old Al Capone stereotype. Gee, he's only been dead for more than 60 years...

Bears with Guns

The Legend of Cecilio Guante site recalls a time when it was okay for the Monsters of the Midway to pack heat. Clever gun positioning there, Jim.

Now That's Tall

The NYT has a profile on Chicago native Kenny George, a Latin School grad who is 7 feet 7, 360 pounds, with size 26 shoes.

Olympic Press Conferences Can Get Hairy

Word to the wise for any Chicago Olympic bid officials: keep your own house in order. The wife of a sportscaster involved in the planning of the upcoming Olympics in Beijing hijacked his press conference and let his infidelity cat out of the bag. Includes video.

Looking Ahead to Olympic Dates

Olympic coverage already seems plenty stale, but some important deadlines are coming up. The most significant date before the June decision on formal candidacy is the January 14th filing deadline for the vision, venues and budget. Prepare for the first real look at the plan and some serious politics.

Scott Skiles Fired

At this time, no decision has been made on Skiles' replacement.

Chicago and the Mitchell Report

A quick search for the word "Chicago" in the Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball yields these players who had stints with the Cubs or White Sox: Todd Hundley, Matt Franco, Rondell White, Glenallen Hill, Todd Pratt, Kent Mercker, Scott Schoeneweis, Jerry Hairston, Jr., and Jim Parque. The only thing we can fairly say at this time is that these people are named in the report. Cancelled checks, FedEx slips -- they've got the goods. Matt Karchner provided some snitch-alation. The word "Sosa" appears but once, in a note indicating that Mitchell wrote him a letter with specific questions. Sosa didn't write back.

Da Coach Sure Likes to Golf, Huh?

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka displayed his well-developed sense of outrage this year to Congress over how the NFL treats it retirees. Now comes USA Today, with a report that the charity he formed in 2004 expressly to help those players has spent $57,000 on them and $715,000 on golf outings.

Devin Devotees Unite!

Stopping just short of calling opposing coaches chickens, a new website pretty much DEMANDS that teams be forced to kick to the Bears' freakishly-amazing return man Devin Hester.

That's Rough

The golf world is aghast at a Golf Magazine survey that placed Chicago 46th out of 50 best cities in America for golf.

Giants Covering Spread Against Bears?

The Freakonomics guys are wondering out loud why the Giants risked kicking to Hester on Sunday. Could it be... gambling?

Black Sox Documents Up for Auction

Mastro Auctions in Burr Ridge has put "thousands of rare documents, letters and memos" pertaining to the Black Sox scandal of 1919 up for auction. Included are notes from fans, angry letters from Charles Comiskey, and legal documents from the 1921 criminal trial in which eight White Sox players were banned from baseball after allegedly throwing the World Series. Items will remain on auction until December 13th, because nothing says "Merry Christmas Granny" like Shoeless Joe's canceled paycheck.

Former Pitching Stars

The Cubs signed a one-year contract with Kerry Wood (he'll be a reliever, not a starter). Mark Prior, on the other hand, may not be long for the team.

Name that Park

Speaking of city facility names, the Chicago Park District has some curiously named parks. Among them: Indian Road, Golden Gate, Valley Forge and, of course, the colorfully named No. 484.

The Glory Days of High School Football

The Tribune has compiled an extensive report of the 2007 season for the Mooseheart Red Ramblers. Complete in three parts, with supplemental video and photos. Suburban high school football at its most enthralling.

No Garland this Christmas

Retooling their lineup to try and get back to the World Series, the White Sox have shipped starter Jon Garland to the California Angels for shortstop Orlando Cabrera. The White Sox also get cash too, which should help the next time manager Ozzie Guillen gets fined.

Sadie Hawkins' Day Race & Style Ride

The now annual Sadie Hawkins' Day Race & Style Ride is back again, November 10th. What is it? "Sadie Hawkins Day Race/Style Ride is an on-street, in-traffic, point-to-point bike adventure for couples or pairs... There are prizes for the fastest couple, fastest tandem team, fastest out of towners, best dressed, and more." Last year's inaugural event drew people from out of town, generated a ton of missed connections and suffice to say, there were a few couples that are still together to this day.

Chicago Scores a Knockout

The head of the International Boxing Association is giving rave reviews to Chicago's hosting of the World Boxing Championships, calling them "the best ever." The hospitality he has received has prompted Dr. Ching-kuo Wu to say he'll support the city's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. And participating boxers were equally overwhelmed, although three could not be reached for comment. Um, you have gone to a match, right? If not, you have until Saturday, Nov. 3.

Chicago Streetballin'

It's a little known fact that superstar NBA player Kevin Garnett credits his year at Farragut and streetball in Chicago with helping him develop into the player he is today. Even if you're not into sports, it's cool to hear him say "Chicago embraced me when they didn't have to ... [they] embraced a person who embraced them."

Weak, Strong, Who Cares?

Apparently now we're back to looking strong for the 2016 Olympics. We better not have to hear about every waffle for the next several years.

LUOLcats

Bulls forward Luol Deng is blogging.

Goal of the Week

The Blackhawks had a great weekend, winning against tough teams -- but this goal by rookie Jonathan Toews was the definite high point. (Thanks, Jim!)

Outdoor Photography

The local Patagonia store is holding a photo contest. Local photographers are invited to submit a photo of themselves or family members doing active outdoor activities -- while wearing Patagonia clothing, of course. Three finalists will be selected to compete nationally for a trip for two to Vietnam. Bring your 4"x6" prints to the store by Oct. 31.

Gleaming the Kennedy

The Chicago Park District is proposing building a sweet skate park near the Kennedy at Logan Boulevard in Logan Square. The park will feature10 ramps, benches and a drinking fountain. The tag is nearly half a million, but it's a small price to pay for reviving that blighted strip while giving skaters a place to show off.

Rolling On

The Chi-Town Sirens, Chicago's second roller derby team, never quite caught on and shut down after just two seasons. Rising from its ashes, though, is the Chicago Outfit -- the toughest, most committed of the Sirens, out to prove they're serious. They're having a costume party/open skate next week; details in Slowdown. (There's a Windy City Rollers bout this weekend, too!)

Hester, Ridiculous

Whether you're a Bears fan who thinks there still might be hope for the 2007 team, or a sportswriter convinced the season is over, everyone can agree that Devin Hester, the Bears return man extraordinaire, is ridiculous.

Boxers on Parade

The human variety, not the canine. As part of a qualification tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympics there will be a parade of boxers and their trainers next Monday, October 22 at 4 PM from the Palmer House to the Chicago Theatre. Any similarities between this event and the Olympics' opening ceremonies are purely intentional, as local Olympics boosters are hoping that this event will show the IOC that Chicago knows how to take care of international athletic competitions.

A Runner's Perspective

Frank Shorter, a two-time Olympic medalist, weighs in on what went wrong with the Chicago Marathon and what should be done to prepare runners for hot races in the future. (Thanks, Anne!)

Go West, Running Man

Didn't finish in the Chicago Marathon? Head on over to Denver. Runners who did not finish in the marathon here are invited to register for the marathon in Denver, happening this Sunday. Short notice, I know, but if you can get there you won't have to pay the entry fee.

Pwnage

Congrats to Jesse Rodriguez of Chicago, who was part of one of the winning teams in this year's World Cyber Games (an event which is, according to the Sun-Times, the gaming equivalent of the Olympics, so Chicagoans are already kicking butt in Olympics-like events). Jesse (or "AtmosFEAR", as he is known on the Internets) will share a $30,000 prize with his teammates.

Curse of the Billy Goat Continues?

Earlier this week, an unknown Cubs fan, apparently hoping to excise the curse of the Billy Goat, strung up at dead goat on the Harry Caray statue outside of Wrigley Field. The team needs the help: they're down 2-0 to the Diamondbacks.

Window to the Stars

The NY Times features Chicagoan John Spack's $100,000 domed observatory in its discussion of the burgeoning trend in home construction.

Cubs Fans Rejoice

Major League Baseball and the Cubs are sponsoring a rally tomorrow, at noon, in Daley Plaza to celebrate the Cubs' Central Division title. The Mayor and Governor are scheduled to attend, as are former players Billy Williams and Andy Pafko, among others. Of course, fans didn't need anyone to organize them a rally the night the Cubs clinched their postseason spot.

Hello Again, Everybody

Sad that Harry Carey wasn't around to watch another Cubs race to the playoffs, but you can still bring a little of him into your home. (Sad also that Stoney's not in the booth for this, but wait 'til next year, maybe.)

Rolling Hard

The Windy City Rollers have had a tough but rewarding year. The Tribune follows their big match against #1 ranked Madison.

No, You Don't Have to Box

The World Boxing Championships will be held in Chicago next month, and they're looking for volunteers to help with the event. Got what it takes? (Thanks, Evan!)

Bill Wirtz is dead

Alcohol and hockey magnate Bill Wirtz died this morning.

Norm Van Lier's Curse

Thabo Sefolosha might not know that the Bulls #2 is cursed! [via]

And Justice for Cyclists...

GB alumni and fellow teammate Luke Seemann recounts a hit-and-run during the team's weekly Saturday morning ride up to Highland Park and back on his excellent Chicago Bike Racing. Clearly an attack on the riders who were paying attention to the rules of the road, the culprit turned himself in and is now facing felony charges in court. Luke has further details on Thomas Lynch.

Cubs' Magic Number

In case you're counting.

The Tequilia Fund

A donation fund has been set up for partially paralyzed Windy City Roller "Tequila Mockingbird," (previous coverage here, here) to help pay for her medical bills (she was uninsured). You can donate via PayPal to TheTahirahJohnsonTrust@gmail.com. All funds will be transferred directly into her North Community Bank trust account and are tax-deductible. (You can use that same address to send her well-wishings, too.)

There Once Was a Team Called the Cubs...

Photos and limericks about our North Side team. (Thanks, Enrich.)

7 Bids for the Olympics

Well, now we know who our competition is. And the local press is already giving Chicago the lead.

Is Chicago Bike-Friendly?

The Tribune sent a reporter and photographer along with two Chicagoland Bicycle Federation employees to ask the question in an article with video. Of course, they find out what most of us already know: cars mean trouble. Go ahead and take the poll, if you're so inclined.

Where to Fish

Want to go fishing? Here's where to go, and what you might catch there.

Cheetah Gym Saga Continues

Drive-Thru contributor Dana says, "I walked by the Andersonville location this morning and saw a sign in the window that said 'Cheetah Gym will be reopening under new ownership on Sept. 9.' Quick turn-around, huh?"

Wanna Be the Next Nitro or Lace?

That's right: "American Gladiators" is returning to TV after an 11-year hiatus. And they're looking for both gladiators and contestants here in Chicago. Show up at the Windy City Fieldhouse Sept. 16 for your chance.

The Heckler

Are the ups & downs of Chicago sports getting to you? The Heckler can help take the edge off.

Know Thy Vendor

Who are the men and women who pour frosty tall boys at Wrigley Field, answering the call of "Hey, beer man!" during the baseball season? Wrigley Beer Vendors has the answer, with 63 vendors profiled in a neat baseball card format. Can you do this?

Rolling the Tollway

Following the great success of Bike the Drive, the Chicago Bike Federation has somehow managed to persuade the Illinois Tollway to give Route 355 over to bicycle traffic on November 11. Six lanes, nothing but bikes.

Free Darko

The prominent hoops bloggers at freedarko.com will be having their first annual Columbian Exposition, er meetup, tonight at 8pm at the Five Star. Afterwards, you should stay at the Five Star for Transmission Thursday.

Lone Surfer of Lake Michigan

Detroit surfer Joe Bidawid landed safely in Chicago yesterday after paddling about 60 miles across Lake Michigan on his board. He did it to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

BREAKING NEWS: Serious Injury @ the Derby

Gapers Block just received word that Saturday night's Windy City Rollers bout was cut short by an incident that left Fury player Tahirah Johnson, aka Tequila Mockingbird, with a fractured cervical vertebra. She was rushed to surgery to relieve pressure and hopefully save her from paralysis. We'll keep you posted as details come in (below the break -- click on "More"); The WCR message board is another good place to watch for updates.

Update 8/26 afternoon: No news on Johnson's condition post-surgery, but we've been told that she regained some feeling and control over her left arm before surgery, so there's hope that it means she'll have an effective recovery.

Update 8/27: WCR released this statement today:
"We understand and are grateful for everyone's concern regarding Tequila's injuries. At this time we'd like to respect Tequila and her family by not releasing any information without their permission, but please know that Tequila is in the best of care at one of the top hospitals in the city.

"As soon as we have information to make available, including where folks can send well-wishes, we'll do so.

"Thanks again for your concern, and please thank our medical staff when you get the chance. They truly did an amazing job making sure Tequila stayed safe and cared for."

Of Boxers and Pit Bulls

The story of a former boxer and pitt-bull fighter from Freeport, IL. [via]

The Chicago Colts

If you follow baseball (or don't, in my case), you're probably aware of the 30-3 trouncing the Rangers gave the Orioles last night. However, you may not be aware that the team who still holds the record for points in a game (37, back in 1897), the Chicago Colts, was a predecessor to the Cubs.

Regional Fandom

Strange Maps reminds us that Cubs country is a bit bigger than White Sox country. Curse/Bless you SuperStation WGN!

Downtown Poshness Poolside

Apartment Therapy Chicago let us in on a cool option for a downtown getaway: The Hotel Intercontinental offers access to its amazing Roman Bath-style pool and fitness center for just $15. (Check out the virtual reality tour of the pool in the Amenities section of this {unfortunately all-Flash} site.)

Pessimism Reigns Eternal

Got an overconfident Cubs fan in your midst? Here's a song to help bring them back to earth, courtesy of the Beachwood Reporter.

Don't Jenks It

Despite the White Sox' continued suckitude, closer Bobby Jenks has been a bright spot. On Sunday, Jenks tied Jim Barr's all-time record of 41 consecutive batters retired. (Here's a great little profile from back just before Jenks joined the Sox in '05.)

Ping Pong Hype Machine

With a new comedy set to raise the profile of table tennis, it's good to realize that Chicago's own Killerspin has been making ping pong cool for years.

Say Hey, Let Me Play Too

The Cubs are for sale, and Ernie Banks wants in. Mr. Cub made an offer last year, before the Cubbies were available, and has talked to three of the investment teams getting ready to bid.

Look out for the Sky

Despite a loss the other night, the Chicago's 2nd-year franchise in the WNBA, the Sky, is in a playoff hunt. They play at the UIC Pavillion-- tickets here.

Every Cubs Fan Has a Blog

The Trib's Paul Sullivan runs through the goings-on at some major Cubs blogs. Be sure to check the comments to see the blogs he missed.

Chicago-Based Former Bulls + Duct Tape = Fishy

The Antoine Walker home invasion earlier this month was a little goofy, and led to some raised eyebrows. Now comes Eddy Curry, former Bull, currently of Burr Ridge-- he got nicked the exact same way. Police say it wasn't random. Suffice it to say, when the other shoe drops, it'll be a big one.

A City that Fishes Together...

As gun-wielding citizens get taken out by the police at a pretty good clip, Checkerboard Chat says that the Chicago Police Department is hosting Hooked on Fishing at Sherman Park Lagoon, Garfield Park, Northerly Island, Humboldt Park, and Montrose Harbor over the next month.

He Stays!

The "Will He Stay or Will He Go" debate that has swirled around White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle has finally been resolved with a contract extension. No word about what White Sox fans are left to talk about now.

Where's the Love for No Glove?

Sure hosting the Olympics would be neat, but asking the vital questions, an article on the 16 Inch Hall of Fame website wonders what effect it might have on Chicago's game.

Bagtown

Since we're on the subject of cornhole, you might want to check out ChicagoCornhole.com. The tournament they set up at Pizza Fest was fun, but take some friendly advice and get some practice in first if you don't want to get owned. I know...ahem...from experience.

Beanbags Away!

Don't know how I missed this yesterday: Cornhole, aka Baggo, makes the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

What's Ozzie Thinking?

With the White Sox struggling mightily, the Onion gives us a sense of what might happen if we knew what Ozzie was thinking.

Foot-Powered Festivals

The Chicagoland Bike Federation has put together bike-friendly routes to a few summer festivals, including the Irish American Heritage Festival and Chinatown Summer Fair.

Big Changes for the Lakefront?

In yet another public works project designed to win favor with the IOC (and area boaters), the Park District has released tentative plans to build three additional harbors. The Trib provides renderings.

Hounds Called Off

The Hoffman Estates-based Chicago Hounds United Hockey League team is closing shop after only a year in business due to issues with their home rink, the Sears Centre.

Bardball: Reviving the art of Baseball Doggerel

Submit your baseball-themed poems and songs to Bardball.com, the site that "wants to resurrect the connection between baseball and poetry, between the love of the game and love of language." The site is run by two Chicago writers -- James Finn Garner (Politically Correct Bedtime Stories and the new book Recut Madness: Favorite Movies Retold for Your Partisan Pleasure) and Stuart Shea (Wrigley Field: The Unauthorized Biography and editor of Wrigley Season Ticket 2007.)

No Tank for 8 Games

The Bears' Tank Johnson has been suspended by the NFL for eight games next season as a result of his arrest on weapons charges last year. Which means, unless he gets time off for good behavior, we'll see him suit up for the first time Nov. 11.

Cubs, Cubs, Cubs

It's been quite the weekend for the Cubs with players fighting each other & the manager "Lou-sing" his cool. Also this week, the NYTimes published a video feature on "The Re-education of Kerry Wood".

Obama's Political Hoops

The NYTimes details Senator Obama's hoops profile and it's potential impact on his political career. It turns out that Alexi Giannoulias (Illinois State Treasurer), Martin Nesbitt (Chairperson of CHA), and Arne Duncan (CEO of CPS) were part of his basketball clique. Of the four, it's only Duncan who has played hoops professionally (in Australia).

Yet Another Googlemap, Duffer's Edition

Like golf? Crain's Chicago Business has the map for you, listing 191 courses in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

Olympic Logo Woes

The International Olympic Committee has determined the Chicago bid logo violates the organization's rules. A new logo is now in the works.

Scourge of the Suburbs

A revolt is underway in the suburbs. The target: new sidwalks. After all, with sidewalks, "who knows what you'd be encouraging to come through?" The Trib's online readers are having none of it, with approximately 90% saying sidewalks in neighborhoods are "a positive addition."

Derby Day Approches

Saturday marks the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby (as well as Cinco de Mayo), and if you like double-fisting mint juleps and margaritas, there are plenty of bars that can accommodate you. If you want to get out to the track, but can't afford the bus fare to Louisville, however, you can take advantage of a coupon for free admission to Arlington Park racetrack in today's Red Eye, just outside the city limits, and on the Metra rail.

This week's Time Out also has an interesting article about the park's brand new state-of-the-art track, designed to keep the horses healthy (after several were fatally injured last year).

Shuttlecocks, Bowls and Wickets

Now that the warm embrace of spring has you snuggled close, it's time to think about some fun springtime sports. Like badminton. Or lawn bowling. But does anybody out there have a croquet hook-up?

Not a Family Values Pick

Greg Olsen, the Bears' first round draft pick, recorded an amazingly sexist song with other students while a freshman in college.

Return on Investment

At the beginning of April, the Tribune profiled baseball card collector Lionel Carter, who was about to put his collection up for auction, fearing for his safety after home invaders stole some of it. The portion he's auctioned so far has earned $1.6 million. NPR interviewed him yesterday.

Rejoice Sports Fans

Chicago sports fans really had something to cheer about this weekend. The Cubs, the Bulls and the Fire all defeated the defending champions of their respective leagues. Unfortunately the Cubs victory is tinged with sadness; the last game of their series was canceled due to the Cardinal family's loss of pitcher Josh Hancock in a car crash.

Enjoying the Hoopla

The Bulls won their first playoff series since "the Jordan era" on Sunday afternoon by defeating the Miami Heat. Up next: Detroit.

Rush Onwards!

Best wishes to Chicago Rush head coach Mike Hohensee, who was hit by a car Friday afternoon and released from the hospital yesterday. Our defending Arena Football League Champion Rush are set to play Jon Bon Jovi's Philadelphia Soul Monday night (7pm, ESPN2) at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

No Tinkers. No Evers. No Chance.

Talk about talking smack! The St. Louis Post-Dispatch rewrites a famous baseball poem to articulate why the Cubs will NEVER win the World Series.

I am Shocked. Shocked!

Yeah, Prior's out for the season.

Top Dog

They haven't got much attention from the local press, nor did they have a winning record in their first season, but the Chicago Hounds can at least claim one thing: Greg Puhalski was named UHL Coach of the Year.

Get Out of the Ballpark!

And onto this new web site: Out of the Ballpark is "the everything that's close to Wrigley Field guide" that boasts info on dining "beyond peanuts," a handy shopping guide for folks who aren't looking just for jerseys and ballcaps, maps and travel guides and more. Great for out-of-towners and locals alike.

Olympic Arts

With all of the hubbub about the Olympics, there's an argument that sports shouldn't get all of the attention. In a city currently alive with Version>07, and soon to have Artropolis going too, art should also be at the forefront. Tribune art critics provide a few conceptions of how art could work with the Olympics.

Al Capone! Bang Bang!

The city's charming gangster past is further commemorated in RuneSoft's Chicago 1930 game, which now offers any interested parties (with Macs) a demo that "impresses with very detailed and varying backdrops offering dark courtyards and dubious brothels as well as monumental buildings of large towns."

An Expensive Hat

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $100,000 for wearing an unsanctioned hat during an NFL event. I wonder how much additional advertising this fine will provide for the brand in question.

Too Late, Slowpokes

If you were planning on running in the Chicago Marathon this year, I hope you signed up already: direct registration closed today, a bit earlier than usual. There are still limited spaces available through the Chicago Area Runners Association and a number of other organizations; check the list on this page. (Thanks, jaymce!)

They're the Wirtz

As readers of Sports in Five know, the Blackhawks' season is over, finishing 13th in their division. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the man every Hawks fan blames: Bill Wirtz.

Jackie Robinson Day

April 15th, the 60th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color-barrier, has been designated Jackie Robinson Day by Major League Baseball. In tribute to Robinson, the White Sox Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Alex Cintron, (first-base coach) Harold Baines, and (third-base coach) Razor Shines will wear Robinson's # 42. Cubs Derrek Lee, Cliff Floyd, Jacque Jones, Daryle Ward, (hitting coach) Gerald Perry, and (bullpen coach) Lester Strode will do the same.

One Step Closer to the Olympics

Chicago has been picked over Los Angeles by the US Olympic Committee as their preference for hosting the 2016 Olympics. Now we have to persuade the International Olympic Committee that we are worthy. We've got a while to make our case, though; the final decision won't be made until October 2009.

Olympic Decision Pending

The decision of the US Olympic Committee comes down tomorrow, and I don't know about you, but I like Chicago's chances over LA a whole lot better now that Mitt Romney has thrown his support behind us.

Cubs as Commodity

Take a gander at the queue for buying "a shrine, a team and a great place to watch baseball."

Casting a Wider Net

Chicago Sportscast already produces some of the best podcasts on our local sports teams (including one by our own Bears in Five columnists), but they're not satisfied. So they're launching networks in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Boston, D.C., Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Auditions are already taking place; if you know a sports nut in one of those towns, put'em in touch.

Darryl Stingley is Dead

Chicago native and community leader Darryl Stingley, who was paralyzed in an NFL football game in 1978 and went on to live a productive, inspiring life from his wheelchair, has died.

Odes to Lou & Ozzie

It might only be two games into the baseball season, but it's never too early to sing odes to managers Ozzie Guillen and Lou Piniella.

Hope Springs Eternal

What else can you say on Opening Day? For those of you looking for some diversions this afternoon, the White Sox are playing Cleveland on the South Side & the Cubs are playing in Cincinnati. Both games are at 1PM. Neither team is going to go 162-0 this season, but for a few more hours it remains a mathematical possibility.

Cricket: More Than Just Wearing All White (Apparently)

With the 2007 Cricket World Cup currently taking place in the Caribbean and the Clue-esque intrigue surrounding the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, cricket has been getting a lot of press lately. If all the cricket noise has inspired you to learn about the game, pull a Jerry Seinfeld American Express commercial ("That was a wicked googly"), or check out a match in-person, GB has you covered. Or, more specifically, is able to guide you to the website of the Greater Chicago Cricket Association.

Wasted Away Again In Wrigleyville

The folks at Deadspin (Gawker's sports blog) just posted their season preview for [announcer voice] your revamped 2007 Chicago Cubs.

Low Cost Sneakers (No Word on Headbands)

Chicago Bulls center Ben Wallace is joining the affordable sneaker movement with his new shoe "the Big Ben" expected to be available in the fall and to retail for $15. The shoes look to have all the popular features of today's modern athletic footwear sans the markup.

Speaking of the Bears and eBay...

Reader Zach informs us that some of those Bears SuperBowl XLI Champions shirts that got sent to Africa have found their way to eBay. A must-have for the ultimate superfan.

Today's eBay Find

A commemorative wristwatch from the 1940 NFL championship, where the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins 73-0. The watch, originally given to Bears fullback Gary Famiglietti, recently turned up in the personal effects of a northwest suburban man who died in November. The Sun-Times reports that one interested buyer is of course the Chicago Bears, who would love to have this piece of team history.

Crack of the Skull

In 2005, Adam Greenberg was called up to the Chicago Cubs from a farm team in Tennessee. During his first-ever MLB at-bat, he was struck in the head by a 90 MPH fastball. This week's New York Times Magazine looks at what he's doing now.

Look Out for That Sand Trap

Custodians at a Mundelein golf course discovered a skull and assorted bones at and around the 14th tee. The varmint responsible has yet to be identified. [Warning: The last two links are noisy.]

A Home Turf Challenge to Boeing

Plane watchers will be pleased to hear the Airbus A380 will definitely visit O'Hare tomorrow.

In Case You Missed It

Simeon defeated O'Fallon 77-54 last night in the Class AA boy's basketball championships. Long-time high school sports beat writer Bob Sakamoto called them, "the greatest Public League team of all time". That's saying alot.

Puss Pummelling

In last night's surprising game between Duke and VCU, former Glenbrook North High standout Jon Scheyer took one hard to the face. Duke was ousted, Scheyer was bloodied, and lots of betting pools were hosed. (Awesome bloody photo here.)

Fill Out Your Bracket

If you haven't yet read this week's Hoops in Five, it's mostly about the NCAA Tournament. For those interested in that sort of thing (and who doesn't fill out a bracket, really?) join the Gapers Block pool. The winner will be announced on the site, and receive both my admiration and a moderately exciting prize!

The South Side Chicago Board of Tourism

Convert your currency to South Side dollars while enjoying an unusual White Sox website.

Windy City Rollers Announce Bout Dates

The Windy City Rollers, Chicago's first all-girl flat-track roller derby league, has announced bout dates for the 2007 season. All bouts are held at The Stadium in Cicero (1909 S. Laramie). Check here to buy tickets, or for a list of ticket vendors.

* April 21 * May 19 * June 16 * July 21 (playoffs) * September (championships - date/location TBA)

New Style or Old Style?

Earlier this month we mentioned the new ads in the outfield at Wrigley. Baseball parks have sported ad signage since the turn of the century, but if you really loved those green doors, you can join the other petition signers at Savewrigley.com.

These Roller Girls Need Shirts

The Windy City Rollers need new shirts and they want you to design them. That's right, enter your design idea for a new WCR League shirt before March 21st and you could win a butt-load of prizes, not to mention be responsible for helping our own bad girls of the flat-track look their best.

Visit Beautiful Woodstock

Northwest suburban Woodstock was named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2007. [via]

Irish Pugilism

The annual tradition of Irish men beating each other up is just around the corner. Undefeated Chicago light heavyweight "Irish" Mike Nevitt will face fellow Irishman Shawn Hammack in the main event at March Mayhem, "Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day professional boxing event" on Friday, March 16th, at Cicero Stadium. Full card details in Slowdown.

The World's Game in Our Town

Sure LA has whats-his-name on the way, but let's not forget Chicago is home to the US Soccer House, and now, will host the CONCACAF Gold Cup semis and finals.

Look the Part

If you took our suggestion to heart and are trying to find ways to look the part for the US Olympic Committee's scout team, you might want to head over to Marsh...er, Macy's and check out the new official "Chicago 2016 Shop".

Olympic Committee In Town

Quick, everybody, look athletic! A scout team for the US Oympic Committee is in town on a two-day visit to Chicago to hear city officials' arguments as to why we should host the 2016 Olympics. On April 14, the committee will vote between Chicago and Los Angeles, and then the winner of that vote goes on the short list of world cities in the running (a list that also includes Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid), and then the actual winner is announced in October. Of 2009. That's right, the Olympic committees still have two more years of looking at cities, but at least by April we'll know if Chicago is in the finals.

Skates Alive! It's a Derby Design Contest!

Have you always wanted to be on a derby girl's chest? Don't be silly -- of course you have. And here's your chance. Chicago's own babes-on-skates, the Windy City Rollers, have announced a t-shirt contest. The winning t-shirt design will be featured WCR merch and sold at the 2007-08 bouts as well as online. But the sweet goodness doesn't stop there. Check here for all the guidelines and specifications and a full list of the booty. Deadline for entries is March 19 at 10am.

Another Bird to Check Off the List

Chicago birders will be pleased to hear that a Black Headed gull is currently visiting the Montrose Avenue Beach.

Bulls Turkey Burger?

Did the Bulls open a hamburger restaurant in Turkey? NBA Fanhouse thinks not officially. Naturally, there's a Michael Jordan burger, named in honor of the "basketball wizard" himself.

Santo Snubbed...Again

Ron Santo is to the Hall of Fame as Martin Scorsese is to the Academy Awards. Wait. That one doesn't quite work anymore. But you get the point. While the Academy righted its wrong with Scorsese the other night, yesterday the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee denied Chicago baseball legend Ron Santo his deserved spot in Cooperstown. It'll be two "maybe next year"s until Santo gets another shot at bronze bust immortality.

Johnny "Red" Kerr: NBA.com Broadcaster of the Week

There's a great story on NBA.com about Bulls legend Johnny "Red" Kerr. He recounts their early days as an expansion team, sheds light on the origins of the Michael Jordan ritual of clapping resin in Kerr's face before each game, and list his top 5 Bulls moments (with links to video).

What About 06776?

Calling all Cubs fans: if you've got a wristband for single ticket sales, the Cubs announced this morning that "Wrigley Field is currently servicing wristband numbers between 06779 and 09000." If your wristband is between these numbers you should report to Gate K on Waveland Avenue immediately. You've got until 5 PM. If you've got 06777 (06778 was not distributed), call WGN-- Old Style wants to reward you for losing and give you a ticket to the home opener.

Granddad the Wii Master

Welcome to a world wherein grandparents in Lake County teach their grandchildren how to play video games.

Chicago2016 - A Done Deal?

A sports business insider says the 2016 Olympics are Chicago's to lose. Take that, Los Angeles! We have Pat Ryan!

I Am A Patient Boy; e-Wait, e-Wait, e-Wait

Single-game tickets for the Cubs 2007 season go on sale Friday morning, and if you didn't get a wristband today, you might as well prepare to dedicate a browser tab for the Virtual Waiting Room and see what's left when your number comes up. (Alternately, you could buy single-game Sox tickets right now.)

So Long, Chief

Tonight's the night for Chief Illiniwek's last performance, during the halftime at the Illinois-Michigan game. After the Chief is retired, the Illini logo featuring the chief will eventually also be retired, although the State Journal-Register reports that the school is trying to develop a phase-out plan to make sure the logo doesn't fall into disuse and enter the public domain, allowing any old manufacturer to use it on their products. In the meantime, the Illini gear with the chief logo is flying off the shelves at the school's store.

Peace to the Chief

Chief Illiniwek will no longer perform at University of Illinois events.

Think Spring! Think Ultimate Spring

Registration for spaces in Ultimate Chicago's Spring League opens tomorrow. It'll be a month before Spring League play begins, but registering early will give you something to look forward to!

Cub's Hot Tub Flub

Continuing the tradition of baseball players finding novel ways of injuring themselves, Cubs reliever Kerry Wood hurt himself getting out of his hot tub! Cubs fans worry not, he'll be back on the mound in a few days.

Lemme Hear Ya

ah one....ah two....ah three.......Cub Fans and Bud Men from Liechtenstein to Malaysia are participating in a worldwide drink-a-thon in honor of Harry Caray. Ground zero is Harry Caray's Restaurant downtown, of course. Broadcast live right now.

Sports Dad Strikes Again

An Aurora man was caught on home video Sunday picking up his son's 11-year-old wrestling opponent and tossing the kid out of the ring, before charging the cameraman—the kid's father. NBC5 has a slideshow with scenes from the video.

Olympic Sized Donor Pool

Chicago 2016, the campaign to bring the Olympics here, is throwing its first public fundraiser March 1, and it already has $6 million in ticket sales.

Camo Spandex

The outfield walls of Wrigley Field will be sporting ads for Under Armour this year. Maybe it'll help the Cubs work on doing this.

Planet Palehose Draws Its Heroes

With less than 50 days to go before opening day, you can start getting ready for baseball on the southside by checking out cartoonist Carl Skanberg's Palehose 7. It's a more modern look for our heroes who were last seen sailing the south (side) seas in search of (more) baseball championship treasure.

A Bet's A Bet

Scott Wiese of Decatur signed a pledge before the Super Bowl that if the Bears lost, he would change his name to Peyton Manning. A man of his word, Wiese went to the Macon County courthouse on Tuesday and filed the name change paperwork.

Somewhere Rex is King

While only one team wins the Super Bowl, the NFL prepares for either outcome by printing championship apparel for both teams. The NYT reports that the losing team's apparel is donated to the remotest parts of the world through World Vision. So, somewhere someone believes that the Bears won the championship, and has a shirt to prove it!

No Need To Show Up

Not too surprisingly, today's planned homecoming celebration at Daley Plaza for the Chicago Bears has been cancelled at the team's request. Wait till next year.

Capping Our Bears Coverage For Now

You've probably had enough of the Bears for the time being, so we'll lay off until Sunday. Besides, the Beachwood Reporter has collected more than enough Bears-related links to last you the next couple days.

But Remember Kids, Gambling's Not Cool

Mayor Daley laid out his spread for the traditional friendly wager between mayors of Super Bowl cities today, and it's a doozy. Daley's not worried, though, warning Indy mayor Bart Peterson that he's won bets with the mayors of five other cities in the last year and a half. While we wait for Peterson to ante up, the cities' theaters are getting in on the action as well. Bailiwick artistic director David Zak announced a bet with Bryan Fonseca of Indianapolis's Phoenix Theatre: ten tickets to Bailiwick's upcoming US premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera if the Colts win, and ten comps to Phoenix's world premiere And Her Hair Went With Her for a Bears win.

SexyRexy.com Was Taken

MidwestBusiness.com's Brad Spirrison proclaims his love of RexGrossman.com. It's a decent site, but you'll want to turn down your speakers, or you'll be treating the office to "Sexy Rexy's Back." (By the way, you *really* don't want to visit sexyrexy.com -- unless you want your IT department flagging you for visiting a pr0n site.)

"It has finally happened!!!"

The New York Times goes above and beyond once again, this time to find out where the respective territories of Bears and Colts fans merge into one blue-and-orange and blue-and-white slurry of some Bear/Colt hybrid creature. The answer: Rensselaer, Indiana. And they're pumped for Sunday.

The Helmet Crack'd

An oversized fiberglass Bears helmet cracked while being placed on one of the Art Institute Lions. Perhaps the lions--who have designations rather than proper names--are secret and disgruntled fans of a certain Michigan team.

Schmattze Speaks

In 1943, as male National Baseball League players went off to war, Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley formed the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association to keep the ballparks in business. Former Chicago native and Springfield Sallies pitcher Esther "Schmattze" Morrison shares a few memories of when baseball diamonds were a girl's best friend.

Disappointed Fans and Blocked Media

The Mount Prospect Costco turned away disappointed fans and at least one camera crew after it stipulated that William "Refrigerator" Perry could only sign Costco-bought items. (Video has additional details.)

Indy Smack

Indianapolis Star writer Michael Tully ruminates on possibilities for the lame tradition of Mayoral Sports Betting. He starts off trying to come up w/ some municipal trash talk about Chicago. Finding it difficult, he settles into the old standard-- Bear's fans are "drunk and disorderly".

"My Body for Your Super Bowl Tickets!"

We're already seeing the first of what will end up being a host of stories on the lengths that Chicagoans will go to get Super Bowl tickets! For example, Lake View woman Jennifer Gordon will gladly paint an ad across her pregnant belly in exchange for two Super Bowl tickets. Since 100 million people will see this ad clearly on television, it might not be a bad deal.

Better Than Curling

It's winter. Darn near February, too. And if you don't yet have one of those deep-purple, painful-to-the-touch, entire-buttock bruises acquired after an icy slip-and-fall, then now is your chance to get one. And you can have fun while doing it, too! Yes, it's broomball season in the icy north, folks. So put on that third layer of sweatpants and get out to Warren Park for everyone's favorite coed winter sport. Seasons start on February 6 and 15. Registration information here, or call 773-866-2955.

Define "Once in a Lifetime Experience"

Not wanting to cheat her husband Mark of the joy of seeing the Bears trounce the Saints at Soldier's Field, Colleen Pavelka of Homer Glen induced labor on Friday rather than risk giving birth during the big game. "I thought, how could (Mark) miss this one opportunity that he might never have again in his life?" said Pavelka, 28, who is now undoubtedly prayed to as a fertility goddess by legions of male Bears fans.

He Voted For the Bears Before He Voted Against Them

It's a relatively minor entry on the list of reasons why the Bears' trouncing of the Saints yesterday, and their impending trip to Super Bowl XLI, is freaking awesome. But it still warms my heart to reread Jay Mariotti's column from yesterday's Sun-Times—while I'm glad he's healthy enough to be writing again, his pessimistic, ripjob game preview is classic back-and-forth bombast, negative enough that Mariotti could say he told us so if the Bears lost, but never outright predicting they would. Expect Mariotti's next column to claim he knew all along the Bears would dominate the Saints—and the one after that to proclaim they can't possibly beat the Colts.

Bears Win!

As you've no doubt heard, the Bears are going to the Super Bowl!

Harlem (Avenue?) Globetrotters

If you thought the Harlem Globetrotters were actually from New York, you're totally wrong, friend. Today's Trib has a story on the South Side roots of the Washington Generals' sworn enemies, chock full of history and trivia (Meadowlark Lemon's real first name? George). Basketball's goodwill ambassadors are playing at the United Center on Saturday and two games at the Sears Centre on Sunday.

Illiniwek Costume to be Returned?

The latest news in the Chief Illiniwek saga is that the Ogala Sioux Tribe, which provided the U of I with the mascot's costume in 1982, is now asking for the costume back. The issue will be taken up by university trustees after the tribe sent its resolution to the school yesterday.

Another Chicago ban to be flouted?

The only thing stronger than a smoking ban: the Bears' chance at the Super Bowl. Three Chicago suburbs are considering a temporary lift on the ban to review the impact the ban's having on the local economy -- and to allow bars and restaurants to permit smoking in their businesses during the Bears game on Sunday and the Super Bowl.

Bicycle Film Festival '07: Call for Submissions

After last year's small success in Chicago, we've heard word that the Bicycle Film Festival will be back again. Currently, founding director Brendt Barbur and co are looking for new submissions for the 2007 round of film festivals set to take place in up to 15 cities: "We are looking for films with a strong theme or character of bicycles. This includes all mediums and styles such as animation, experimental, narrative, documentary and music videos." The deadline is February the 17th so you have about a month to get going or fine-tune that piece you've been working on. Details at the site or take a look at the flyer here.

Can't Bear It

With today's overtime win against the Seahawks, the Bears will face the Saints next Sunday for the NFC Championship and their first trip to the superbowl since 1985. Great news, to be sure, but does that mean we have to suffer through Mike Ditka singing "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" with CBS2's Vince Gerasole?

Gender-Neutral Dorms?

The University of Chicago is contemplating gender-neutral undergraduate housing -- an idea the Maroon editorial board endorses.

Fallen Rider Memorial Ride

A group of Chicago cyclists (myself being one of them) have organized a ride to raise awareness of the growing number of cyclist fatalities in the Chicagoland area. Named the "Fallen Rider Memorial Ride", the ride will start at the Thompson Center at 6pm tomorrow, January the 3rd and will ride to Diversey and Pulaski at an easygoing and respectful pace. The goal? To highlight how important driving and cycling are to Chicago and how the two require attention and respect. A PDF flyer can be viewed, downloaded, printed and passed along from here.

Purdue-Calumet Gets an 'F'

Purdue University Calumet, a Division I NAIA school and a member of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, has cancelled the remainder of its mens' basketball season after more than half of the team's members were declared academically ineligible after the fall semester. The Peregrines' entire coaching staff resigned.

Chicago's Video Game Influence

Online gaming magazine Gamasutra just released the final installment of its five-part series on Chicago game studios. The final stop is Midway.

Squatting on Hester

Devin Hester is a top contender for Rookie of the Year, but the contest to squat on his name on the web has already been won, apparently by these guys. At least second place, DevinHester.net, was nabbed by someone local.

Is Something Awry in Bearsland?

The house of Chicago Bears defensive linebacker Tank Johnson was raided today. No one's talking about what went down, but a man was led from the home in handcuffs and "items sought in the warrant were recovered inside the home." [Update: Johnson has been charged with firearms violations.]

Lies, Damned Lies, and...

Peter Bernstein's fifteen-year statistical analysis of the relationship between the Cubs' winning records and the yearly increase in ticket prices suggests that after the abysmal 2006 season, prices should remain basically the same next year. I'm willing to bet that between the Tribune Company's woes and the front office's free-spending offseason activity, the statistics won't hold.

Rookie of the Year

Congratulations to Bears Safety Devin Hester, who now has two NFL records under his belt: a tie for longest return from earlier this season, and now the most returns for touchdowns in a single season. He ran back two in last night's win against the Rams.

Super Bowl Mumble

Chicago Magazine has posted the lyrics and a video for "The Super Bowl Mumble," this year's smash-hit update of the "Super Bowl Shuffle."

"How cool would it be to have Quidditch at Soldier Field?"

Plans are underway for a Harry Potter conference in Chicago in August 2008. It looks like it will be organized by these people.

Cut Down Too Soon

The Bears may have won, but Chicago's bid for rock-paper-scissors supremecy was cut short this weekend. Local teacher Jason Kieronski lost in the first round of the world RPS championship in Toronto.

Chicago vs. LA for 2016?

Chicago's Olympic hopes may have gotten a boost this week, as San Francisco appears to be taking itself out of the running after the 49ers nixed plans for a new stadium there.

I got a rock

As the Bears stumble on their way to the Super Bowl, it's good to know that other Chicagoans are representing the city in other sporting events. The Sun-Times reports that local gym teacher Jason Kieronski is heading to Toronto to take part in this year's international world championship of Rock Paper Scissors. Best of luck, Jason!

Project Gridiron

Our friends at Coudal have been awfully busy shipping Sixteen Straight tees. It's only natural folks would want to show them off.

Getting Off To A Good Start

The Bulls certainly did just that in their 108-66 destruction of the defending champs. It was the worst performance ever by a defending champ on opening night. Chicagoans better have room in their diet to be excited about both the Bears and Bulls. Bulls in Five will return this Monday for its sophomore season.

Sadie Hawkins Day Race

Sadie Hawkins is a fictional day from a L'il Abner strip. However, it is now also a bike race organized to encourage women of all kinds who ride bikes to come out and race for fun, as well as to benefit the Chicago Women's Health Center. There's a pre-race fashion party on Friday, Nov 10th in the Fulton Markets with the race happening on Nov 11th, followed with a post-party the same day. Want to race? Want to have fun? Check out the myspace.

Breeches, Bloodhounds and All

What do you call a fox hunt without foxes? The Wayne-Dupage, apparently. BusinessWeek profiles the sport of the suburban gentry.

The New Suburban Venue

Now that the Sears Centre is officially open, the Daily Herald offers a review of its first night in action, and the Sun Times and the Trib provide some background.

A Cinderella Story for the Cubs

A little old, but worth pointing to as the Tribune prepares to auction itself: An Open Letter to Bill Murray, in which it's recommended he buy the Cubs.

Marathon winner released from hospital

Robert Cheruiyot, the Kenyan runner who won Sunday's Chicago Marathon but slipped & fell right at the finish line, was released from the hospital this morning after sufficiently recovering from the head injuries he sustained in his fall. A championship ceremony is happening downtown right now to celebrate his win, and he's expected to make a full recovery.

She's the Running Back

Meet Lasaadia Jones, the first female varsity football player in Chicago Public League history.

Bears, Oil and the Mob

If I had the inside line on a conspiracy involving former Chicago Bears great Ed O'Bradovich, fraud, oil and the mob, I don't know if YouTube is the place I'd turn. But that seems to be the only place Joe Weinbender is telling his story.

You can put it on the ratings board, yes!

Or as Crain's puts it, Holy cow! For the first time in recent memory, the Sox beat the Cubs in overall TV ratings on WGN, WCIU and Comcast Sports Net. The Cubs still sold more tickets than the Sox; of course that was mostly at the beginning of the season...

"The Bears Are Who We Thought They Were"

Good luck finding a quiet spot where nobody's talking about last night's Bears game. Grossman sucked, but at least he admitted it -- and had the stellar defense and surprising special teams to back him up. My favorite soundbite is the one from Cardinals coach Dennis Green, who melted down at the podium and delivered that unintentionally ambiguous quote above; NSFW video accompanies MSNBC's story. (Also.)

A Force-ful Tryout Season

I love the current energy behind women's sports here in Chicago. I only wish I was a little more coordinated to do something like tryout for a women's professional tackle football team. The Chicago Force is ready to get next year's team signed up and in practice. Cause next year is the year we win!

Sox at 7:11

So you heard that weekday White Sox games will start at 7:11pm, right? Here's a story on how the team and sponsor 7-Eleven came up with the agreement, which will bring the Sox and extra half-mil a year for three years.

My Lake Michigan Firing Range

The Coast Guard has proposed establishing 34 permanent live-fire zones in the Great Lakes. The 2,500 square miles of water would be closed to public while in use. As you might expect, people throughout the Great Lakes are more than a little upset. Currently, the Coast Guard's information site is offline although a comment page and a press release are available.

Five Down, 11 to Go

The Bears are looking damn good this year. Think they can go all the way? Then this new shirt, created by Coudal Partners, is the one for you.

Rollin' to the playoffs

You know you don't want to miss the Windy City Rollers' second-season playoffs this Sunday, with the Double Crossers vs. The Fury and Manic Attackers vs. Hell's Belles, plus halftime hula hoop hijinks by Hoopafreaks. But how do you get out to Cicero Stadium if you're carless? Appropriately enough you can take the oh-so-delicate Pink Line (the stadium is two blocks north of the 54/Cermak station), or for five bucks you can get on the WCR party bus from Liar's Club. Bout details in Slowdown.

Dusty No Longer Trusty

The Cubs made official what's been expected for months now: Dusty Baker will not be returning as manager. The hunt for a Mr. October is now on.

Another Reason to Look Up

Early Friday morning, two people BASE jumped from a downtown crane. This is the second noted jump in as many weeks.

Cold Steel on Ice Tonight

The Blackhawks play their first preseason game tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Not up on your Hawks? Get a preview in the debut Pucks in Five column.

Billy Joel Goes to Wrigley

Kinda, at least: to the tune of that ode on Boomer-dom, it's "Dusty Baker, You Must Get Fired."

Bet on the Bears, Win Furniture

The Bears gave Brett Favre his first shut-out on Sunday, and by doing so they won free furniture for dozens of customers at World Furniture Mall in south suburban Plano. Owner Randy Gonigam was insured to pay out up to $300,000 worth of furniture, but he never expected it to happen.

"He just wanted his glasses repaired"

The prosecution of Benny the Bull, the Chicago Bulls mascot who took a swing at a police officer at the Taste of Chicago in July (because, lest we forget, the officer was trying to get Benny to stop riding around on a small motorcycle at the Taste), came to an end today as prosecutors dropped charges after Benny paid $200 to have the officer's glasses repaired.

The Superfan to Beat All Superfans

You may think you are the Bears' biggest fan. But you pale in comparison to this guy.

Bikes+Metra ≠ Bikes+South Shore Line

A Lincoln Park high school teacher has a lesson for you: Metra's bicycle regulations are more permissive than the South Shore Line's. He has a $150 taxi ride from South Bend to Lincoln Park to prove it.

Hockey in Five?

Anybody out there a hockey fan? Gapers Block is looking for a columnist to write Blackhawks (and possibly Wolves) in Five for our popular Sports in Five column. Email your application with a couple sample items to ah@gapersblock.com.

Yet Another Reason the Sox Are Better:

Do the Cubs have their own cartoon, with the team as pirates?

Meet the new Steve Bartman

At last night's White Sox/Twins game, an unidentified man in a White Sox jersey deflected a White Sox ball at the end of the game, resulting in a fan interference call and giving the game (and the AL wild-card lead) to the Twins. So if you see someone you don't know in a White Sox shirt, that's probably the guy!

Lucha Libre, Gratis!

Tomorrow night at 6pm, the Congress Theater is hosting a Lucha Libre wrestling match featuring La Parka and Super Astro versus Blue Panther and Tarzan Boy. For free! How can you pass it up? Check out the Congress website to sign up for free tickets.

Better Luck Next Year

Speaking of undesirable rankings, the Chicago Sky set the WNBA record for highest number of losses in a season over the weekend at 29. The franchise wrapped up its first year yesterday with a win, one of only five the team managed this season.

Mountainous Chicago

I've never thought of Chicago as an obstacle course, but this article in Dirt Rag describing a trip through the city with Chicago Freeride sort of makes me wish I had big nobby tires on my bike.

Coming In Bronze

Crain's takes a look at how Chicago stacks up against its American competition for the 2016 Olympics and finds us falling short compared to rivals LA and San Francisco.

Gold at the End of the Rainbow

In the end and despite all the hullabaloo preceding them, the Gay Games were evidently successful: Crain's reports that attendance exceeded expectations by 40%, and event chair Kevin Boyer tells Pink News that "Chicagoans made up the largest number of the spectators."

We're #1!

The Sporting News has named Chicago "America's top sporting city" in their annual poll thanks, in part, to the Sox's World Series win and the postseasons of the Bears and the Bulls. Boston, Mass was the winner for the past two years.

Why I Go to School: Free Tickets!

In a move to boost Chicago Public Schools' attendance rates, the district has partnered with sports teams, radio stations, and even Southwest Airlines for the Back to School Sports Challenge. While some prizes will be handed out just for attendance, essayists can win a trip to Disney World or a chance to be a DJ on Power 92. So, kids, see how rewarding staying in school can be?

We were the Champions

It's not just the Gay Games that closed this weekend. Nope, a lower profile competition has been taking place over the past few weeks, one that did not feature Cyndi Lauper serenading its participants: the North American Bridge Championships ran from the 13th through yesterday, ultimately being won by what the Times calls "pretournament favorites." (Like you, perhaps, I have no idea what those results mean, but way to go, winners!)

Hey Ref, You're Half-Blind

Everyone knows the old adage, making fun of a bad referee by calling them blind. In the case of Bolingbrook's James Filson, he sort of is. Filson lost vision in one of his eyes in 2000, but continued to referee Big Ten Football games for five years. Filson is suing the Big Ten after being fired in 2005. He says he has the ability and right to referee the games and cites his selection to referee the Orange Bowl as proof of his quality performance.

Casting for Listeners, Looking for Podcasters

Cubscast, your source for Wrigley-related podcasting, is running a listener drive: go get 20 free Cubs postcards to pass out to your friends. Take pictures of them with their cards and you could win a video iPod. In related news, Chicago Sportscast Network is looking for some Blackhawks fans to do a podcast at Hawkscast; check the site for details and an app.

Hydration, All They Ever Needed

While temps are forecast to come down a bit as the week progresses, right now it's miserable just walking down the block. Imagine, then, that you're one of the athletes who's come half-way around the world to compete in the Gay Games triathlon or soccer or, well, take your pick really. Those folks need water to keep going, and any way you can help will be appreciated. Local businesses and individuals that can assist in the hydration effort should contact Sam Coady at 773/551-1622. Or, take the initiative and show up at the venues with water / ice / sports drinks to donate. More information on locations, schedules etc. at the website.

Summer with the Boys

The New York Times notes that the near west coast of Michigan is an increasingly gay-friendly vacation destination. So hop in a car or catch a train and have some fun.

Let the Games begin

Okay, okay, I'm trying not to harp on the Gay Games, but this is honestly one of the biggest events Chicago's seen in years (and a serious trial run for the city's 2016 Olympics hopes). It's so big, in fact, that we couldn't possibly list all of the events or even the highlights here in Slowdown; instead I'll just direct you to the schedules at the Games' site and let you know that most events are free, but tickets for those that require them can be purchased online or at the HotTix locations at the Chicago Tourism Center (72 E Randolph), the Water Works Visitor Center (163 E Pearson) and the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Have a gay old time.

Pierzynski as Puck

Earlier this year, A.J. Pierzynski ended up on GQ's list of the 10 Most Hated Athletes. Today, as the Sox face the Yankees, the New York Times delves into why, concluding that, for better or worse, and sometimes for both, "in a reality television sort of way, he might be watched more than any player in Chicago."

Pink Pennies Add Up

Back in the day, several organizations representing religious conservatives made waves about boycotting corporate sponsors of the Gay Games, scheduled to start in Chicago this weekend. According to MarketWatch, it was all for naught. Meantime, yesterday the mayor encouraged local support and spectatorship, suggesting that the event's success could bode well for the city's nascent Olympics bid.

Cross-town Smack Talk

The Chi-Town Daily News sent a camera to the Crosstown Classic at Wrigley last week to find out what Cubs and Sox fans think of each other. You can probably guess what they found. (Video, NSFW)

Take Me Out for a Veggie Burger

The Red Sox haven't made the past few games at the Cell very fun (maybe this afternoon'll be different?), but PETA says those looking for healthy stadium fare have reason to be happy: the animal rights organization listed US Cellular Field among this year's Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks.

Border collies vs. sea gulls

The city is piloting a program at Foster Avenue Beach to see if Wild Goose Chase's border collies can scare away sea gulls. Fewer gulls means fewer bird droppings, and the city hopes that fewer bird droppings will lead to lower e. coli levels in Lake Michigan. Here's to actually swimming at our beaches!

COPS: Bulls Mascots

A few years ago, it was Da Bull in trouble with the law, having been charged with marijuana possession. Now, it's Benny the Bull's turn. The big red mascot was arrested for allegedly punching an off-duty cop after being stopped for riding a small motorcycle through the Taste of Chicago. I bet the San Diego Chicken never had 'cuffs on.

Time to Buy that Afro Wig

Move over and maybe out, Tyson Chandler: Ben Wallace is coming to the Chicago Bulls. Wallace has reportedly signed with the Bulls for $60 million over four years. The four-time defensive player of the year should fill every defensive expectation fans had for Chandler over the years and bring a true veteran superstar to the team. This move instantly makes the Bulls real contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Carpool with the Roller Girls!

The Windy City Rollers are offerering you quick and direct access to the bout in Cicero and after-party at Liars Club. For a measly $5, you don't have to spend money on gas, get mildly frustrated with other drivers or worry about finding that primo parking spot. Meet up at Liars Club at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 9th, and then head over to the bout at 4 p.m. Then hop on board for the after-party! Buy tickets now.

Tragedy at Northwestern

Last night, tragedy befell the Northwestern University family as football coach Randy Walker died of an apparent heart attack. Walker was only 52 years old and was about to enter his eighth season at NU. He had recently been granted a contract extension through 2011 for his stellar work in leading NU to 14-10 conference record over the past three years. No information on services or donations to the family has been noted.

Fans Against Mariotti

No one can support the recent language chosen by Sox' Manager Ozzie Guillen to describe Sun-Times columnist Jay Marriotti. A lot of Chicagoans, however, can and do support the sentiment. Jaythejoke.com's purpose is to expose Marriotti as a fraud and unite Cubs' and Sox' fans in mutual dislike for the controversial columnist. The new-ish blog was featured in a recent Tribune column.

Switching Sides

The success of the White Sox and the dismal collapse of the Cubs have had effects far beyond the MLB standings: in some cases, it's turning family members against each other as the South Siders draw not-so-die-hard Cubs fans into their fold. In Richard Roeper's new book, Sox and the City, he has a word for them: biSoxual. Watch this page for an mp3 of Roeper's appearance on 848 this morning discussing the potential sea change in the Sox' fandom fortunes. (Thanks, Roni)

Not So Bad At Sports After All

Remember when you played kickball in gym and the artsy kids and the nerds always got picked last? Well, so do ThreeWalls Gallery, StopSmiling Magazine and Bad at Sports, and they're gonna show you what you missed out on this Saturday, July 1, from noon till 6pm at the Wicker Park kickball field. Four teams (The Mullets, the West Town Banditos, Record Players and the West Loop Flyers) will compete for the ArtLeague Kickball championship trophy. Afterparty and awards ceremony at Smoke Daddy. More details in Slowdown.

World Cup in Five

The US is out of the World Cup running, and our Fire in Five columnist is back stateside with some reflections on the national team and its surprisingly vocal fans. Read about it in Sports in Five.

Couch on Doing the Right Thing

AfterElton.com runs an interview with Greg Couch today in which he describes himself as "disgusted" by the way the press and others have turned the 'Ozzie Guillen said something he shouldn't have' issue into a 'Jay Marriotti brought it on himself' issue. Couch was one of few reporters to call foul on the Sox manager for using "fag" as a slur; he says, "I'm just doing what I'm supposed to."

Photos from Go Skateboarding Day

I don't follow up on skateboarding like I used to so it was a pleasant surprise to hear about last week's Go Skateboarding Day. You can live vicariously through these Flickr photo sets: here and here.

Chicagoans Want 2016 Olympics

That is, at least, according to a survey compiled by the firm that completed Mayor Daley's political polling. The survey shows that nearly 80% of Cook County residents want Chicago to host the games. With the need for a stadium larger than Soldier Field to host, the idea of a collapsible stadium has gained steam. As to what a collapsible stadium really is? That's anyone's guess.

Selig Schools Ozzie

The White Sox thought Ozzie Guillen's apology for "the slur" was enough. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig disagreed. He fined Guillen an undisclosed amount and ordered the Sox' manager to sensitivity training.

"I'm Still Waiting for Jay"

Dear "Those People," I wasn't talking about you when I used an anti-gay epithet earlier this week to describe someone I don't like. I was just using it to question his courage and manliness; you know how it is. So, yeah, we cool? -- Ozzie

Ozzie Guillen, Homophobe?

What does it mean for the White Sox manager, speaking in a relatively official capacity, to call a reporter a "fag"? While the organization's VP of communications calls it "insensitive," Sun-Times columnist Greg Couch seems more apt to call it inexcusable.

Skate on State

On the train to downtown this morning I saw a couple people carrying skateboards but didn't think much about it. Then I found out that today is Wild in the Streets, an annual global skating event. Today in Chicago, a large group of skateboarders will be meeting at Buckingham Fountain to skate through downtown Chicago to thank the city for planning to build a new skating area in Millennium Park. The event begins at the fountain at 2:00 PM, all skaters are welcome, and to try and draw a huge crowd the organizers of the event will be bringing some members of Emerica's skate team. So if names like Andrew Reynolds and Ed Templeton get you all excited, you know where you gotta be today.

No Bean? You're Outta Here

Hear about Sox coach Ozzie Guillen sending a rookie pitcher back to the minors for not hitting a batter? Not surprisingly, it's causing a bit of a stir in Chicago and elsewhere.

Chicagoan Racing Across America

Local ultracyclist Bryce Walsh is competing in the grueling Race Across America (RAAM) and doing pretty well. He's in fifth place as he crosses the Rocky Mountains. (How grueling? "Riders consume 6,000-8,000 calories a day of food and take in [3.1 - 4 gallons of fluid]..." and "serious solo contenders planned to average of 90-120 minutes sleep in each 24-hour period during their ride." Whoa.)

Hemon Blogs the World Cup

Franklin Foer, author of How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization, is blogging the World Cup for the New Republic online. And, he's getting a little help from his friends, including critically acclaimed Chicago author--and football fan--Aleksandar Hemon.

Retire Wrigley's Scoreboard?

Despite the cute-the-first-time-you-heard-it radio ad touting its charm and benefits, Eric Benderoff thinks it's time for Wrigley Field's human-run scoreboard to go. Helpfully, the owners have asked for your opinion.

Who *doesn't* love beach volleyball?

I know where I'll be every Sunday this summer--making a fool out of myself at beach volleyball! But if you are more serious and want to join a league, you can do it here. There are even co-ed teams if you want to, y'know, meet people.

Jay Mariotti Has an Anti-Posse

Sun-Times sportswriter Jay Mariotti has raised the ire of many a fan over the years, so it's not surprising to find a hate site out there. Jay the Joke is your one-stop shop for columnist-bashing.

Bike Tour 2K6!

Friends and Chicagoans Andrea and Ira saved money for a year, resigned from their jobs and left for the open road a little over a week ago. On their bikes. They're riding around the country for a year. You can keep up to date and check up on them as they post on the road from the weblog. Earlier posts are informative — lots of information on prepping for such an adventure. I'm jealous too — they look insanely happy.

House Organ or Newspaper?: You Make The Call

In light of recently alleged attempts by Cubs management to intervene in Tribune coverage, Steve Rhodes of the Beachwood Reporter sounds off on the conflicts of interest endemic to a media outlet owning a sports team. (He comes to some harsh conclusions. The words "misguided and mediocre management" get used. For both the team and the paper.)

Sky Hook a Win, Force Crushes Iowa

Our new WNBA team, the Chicago Sky, won their debut game Saturday against the Charlotte Sting 83-82. The Sky snuck by on three free-throws by Jia Perkins at the very end of the game. Not to be outdone, the Chicago Force women's football team beat the Iowa Crush 20-6. Catch the Force at home on the 27th against Detroit.

Dream the Impossible Dream

After the Chicago marathon every year (as a spectator), I see those LaSalle mylar blankets and think, "Man, I could never run a marathon!" But au contraire: the Chicago Area Runners Association sponsors an 18-week traning program (starting at the end of June) that will get you ready to run 26.2 miles with the best of 'em. See their site for more info.

A Hazy Shade of Wildcat

Not long after suspending its women's soccer team, Northwestern has announced charges of hazing against the men's swim team and the school's mascot program. Meantime, soccer alums deny a tradition of hazing, and the university warns against posting potentially compromising photos on Facebook, MySpace and other sharing sites. The Times has more from a national perspective.

Beautiful Game Turns Ugly

The Associated Press reports that Northwestern has suspended its women's soccer team in light of hazing allegations. Website BadJocks.com posted a number of photographs it attributes to "a public picture sharing site," and the story develops.

Negro League Players Pensions Upheld

Mike Colbern, a Chicago White Sox catcher in 1978-79, and two other baseball players filed a lawsuit claiming that Major League Baseball was committing "reverse discrimination" for giving about two dozen Negro League players pensions and medical benefits. A federal appeals court ruled last week that the players from the Negro Leauges were entitled to continue receiving payments while white players who didn't meet MLB's length-of-play requirements were not. The judge ruled that there was no unfair treatment and even if there was, MLB has the right to make up for past injustices.

On the Sporting Life

After 30 years, Sun-Times sports columnist Ron Rapoport wrapped up his career earlier this month. In an interview with Scott Simon, he looks back on some of the greater (and the smaller) moments of the past three decades.

Ben Gordon, Mixologist

Bulls guard Ben Gordon is the first NBA player with his own energy drink. Gordon signed with start-up H3Enterprises to create BG7, a white tea-based concoction expected to be on store shelves later this year.

Don't Stop Bean-lieving

The hometown team for the upcoming 2006 Gay Games has unveiled its logo and uniform. They'll be in powder blue, with what looks sort of like the band Chicago's signature typeface overlaid on Cloud Gate.

Yes, I know "Don't Stop Believing" is a Journey song, not a Chicago song. I was just going for the pun.

Internet Answers Tough Sports Questions

Which Chicago sports team is the most popular? In Chicago, it's the Cubs. In Naperville, it's the Bears. Only in Canada do the Hawks come out on top.

And the Winner Isn't...

Maxim: Dusty Baker, Worst Manager in Baseball. [via]

Bike and Eat

Registration is ongoing for three Chicagoland Bicycle Federation-sponsored rides that combine food and biking. In June, Veggie Bike and Cook features lunch and a cooking class as part of a ride that runs from River North to Lincoln Square. In July, Veggie Bike and Dine incorporates tasty stops in a ride from Evanston to Edgewater and Progressive Bike and Dine tours the near west suburbs. Each ride requires advance registration, which costs $30 to $35. Learn more here.

Hat Day At Arlington Park

This weekend will bring the annual opening day at Arlington Park. In addition to races, "southern fried rock", and the usual fun that accompanies horse races, the park is also hosting a hat contest to compete with the famous haberdashery found at that other race in Kentucky. Show up on Saturday with a "fashion hat" and you're eligible for a trip to Kentucky, not to mention free admission to watch the ponies...

Big in Japan

Sumo wrestling is finally escaping its Japanese borders and making a push into the States with the new World Sumo League, run by the WWE's ex-CFO. How much fun will it be to watch mountainous men push each other around inside a circle? We'll find out May 27, when the national tour hits the Allstate Arena. Tickets go on sale this Friday; follow the phenomenon at WorldSumoLeague.com, an unofficial site run by local blogger Matt Maldre.

Playing for The Chicago Machine

There's a lot of potential writing jobs out there for those who like talking about local sports teams, including new ones like the Chicago Machine, our newly formed professional men's lacrosse team. They're looking for a writer, so if you know your lacrosse facts, let them know. Or if you want to be a part of their dance team, they're looking for some of those positions as well.

Cubs Bleachers for Sale

Reader Kurt writes, "I probably shouldn't be telling anyone about this since it just means 'competition,' but I'm feeling generous." The Cubs will be holding a "garage sale" this Saturday from 8am to 4pm. Available items will include Wrigley Field bricks, sections of the old bleachers, game-used equipment, and Kerry Woods' arm. Proceeds will go to charity.

Sky Bloggers Wanted

Funny Kris should mention it: The WNBA just so happens to be looking for some bloggers to write about the Chicago Sky (and other teams). Fill out this application and you could be one of them.

Blogging the national pastime

With baseball back in full swing and both Chicago teams looking good, it's time to check in on the sports blogs. The aptly-named Agony & Ivy is a well-written one-year-old Cubs diary written mainly by a Chicago ex-pat living in Austin. South Side Sox provides trenchant daily analysis of the World Series champs. What about our other summer sports? Any Chicago Fire sites with breathless reports on the new Bridgeview Stadium? And who'll have the first blog about the Chicago Sky?

More Hockey

As if Chicago needed another sports team: The Hounds will be joining the minor league UHL this fall, playing at the under-construction Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Bulls Pull Through

Hey! The Bulls clinched their spot in the playoffs last night! If you were waiting to get your playoff tickets, now would be the time.

Gay Games Registration Filling Up

The Gay Games will open at Soldier Field on July 15, three months from tomorrow. Accordingly, tomorrow's the last day for registration before late fees start kicking in. With 10,000 competitors from 45 countries already signed up, director Brian McGuinness says rates thus far have exceeded expectations. In the end, organizers anticipate 12,000 athletes, as well as coaches, fans and families, will participate in the event.

Remembering Maggie Dixon

West Point womens' basketball coach Maggie Dixon was remembered at a memorial service yesterday in North Hollywood, California after dying last week of a sudden arrythmic episode. The ceremony was attended by 1200 mourners, including the basketball teams of both West Point and DePaul, where Dixon was an assistant coach for five years before being named head coach for Army just before the start of the last season. After a 5-7 start, Dixon took the Army team to a 20-11 record and the Patriot League championship, earning West Point its first-ever appearance in the womens' NCAA tournament last month. She and her brother Jamie, the mens' coach at Pitt, became the first brother and sister to coach in the NCAA tournament in the same year. Jamie, 11 years her elder, said Tuesday, "I've said this before—when I grow up I want to be just like her." Maggie Dixon will be buried Friday at West Point; she was 28.

"Smack dab between Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular"

Before baseball fever fully embraces- slash-chokes the region, lend an ear to this well-made case for basketball as the lifeblood of the American city, Chicago included (McSweeney's via FreeDarko).

Gay Games rowers cross another hurdle

The City Council of far northwest suburb Crystal Lake last night approved by a 6-1 vote the request by the organizers of this summer's Gay Games to hold a rowing event on the lake, a matter which came under contention in hearings before the Crystal Lake Park District last month and brought national attention to McHenry County. Last night's council meeting featured many supporters and only one resident speaking against the event, who told WGN News that "I don't hate gay people; I just think it's a gay agenda event." The Games still need to gain the approval of neighboring township Lakewood, which shares jurisdiction of the man-made lake.

Are you ready for some football?

Forget about the Bears, I'm talking about the Force, the Chicago Force. In a move that makes me tickled pink, these kick-ass and ass-kicking women are going to be hosting this season's wins at the Lane Tech Stadium at 2501 W. Addison (on Addison near Western). The season opener is April 29th at 3pm, order your $8 tickets online.

Fire in Five?

Any soccer fans out there interested in writing about the Fire for Sports in Five? Email samples to me at ah@gapersblock.com. UPDATE: We've found a writer. Thanks to all who applied!

Callin' 'Em What They Are

Cubs fans have touted their ballpark as old fashioned and advertising-free for years, but that image took a major hit as the Cubs signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch. The bleachers have always had a major presence from Bud Light, but now it's official: they've been named the Bud Light Bleachers.

It's Total Mania

While cold Soldier Field will never host a SuperBowl, and the United Center won't be hosting a Final Four anytime soon, Chicago (more specifically Rosemont) will be hosting a major sporting event this Sunday. OK, technically it's sports-entertainment, but Wrestlemania 22 comes to the All-State Arena. Chuckle all you want at the WWE; tickets are fetching upwards of $1000 from scalpers.

Payton Jewels Pawned

One of Walter Payton's Hall of Fame Rings and a replica Super Bowl Ring, stolen from Walter Payton's American Brew Pub, have been recovered at an Aurora Pawn Shop. The two rings were pawned for $150.

Run! Not Just When Chased!

Does the warming weather make you want to strap on those tennies and get moving? You're not alone. There are a ton of folks at the Chicago Area Runners Association who would love to help you become a real runner. There are training sessions for half-marathons, 5Ks, 10Ks, and even training for those new to training, and they all get started pretty soon. You really wanted an excuse to buy those funky sweat bands anyway (short shorts optional).

Sports Ahoy!

It a big season for sports: the Cubs and Sox are in Spring training, March Madness is on the verge, and the Bulls... well, at least we have baseball to look forward to. Read all about it in this week's gigantic Sports in Five.

Kirby Puckett, RIP

Kirby Puckett, Hall-of-Fame center fielder for the Minnesota Twins who grew up in a Chicago housing project, died of a stroke yesterday at age 45. UPDATE: More from the Tribune and Sun-Times.

"You'll Suck (But There's Also a Bar)"

It typically takes the Olympics for Americans to think of curling, and GB is no different: Cinnamon gave a shout for the Chicago Curling Club a couple weeks ago. If you missed the open house she mentioned, Chris Sprow of the Chicago Sports Review went as your proxy, and, well, it doesn't sound like it was pretty.

Hurtful Name-calling

So, Sox GM Kenny Williams and former Sox DH Frank Thomas have been having words. Frank feels disrespected, and over the weekend Kenny called him an idiot. The Sun-Times' Roman Modrowski thinks both of them need to move past the "6th grade level." (Wisely, Ozzie Guillen is staying out of it.)

Psst...

While northside ticketseekers are currently lined up outside Wrigley or glued to their computer screens, single-game tickets to see the World Champion Chicago White Sox are readily available. They might be the better investment: tickets to the Sox opener are commanding a higher price than those of the Cubs.

Take me out to the wristband

Cubs fans, it's time once again to get your wristbands! You have until 10:00 tonight to stop by Wrigley Field and pick up a wristband that will determine your place in line tomorrow morning at 6:00, when the starting number is called for the head of the line. If you were planning on sitting this season's ticket sale out, you might reconsider; according to the Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue, the lines haven't been as long for this year's wristbands, which means fewer people in line for tickets tomorrow morning.

8-month Chicago winters pay off in Turin

Some of the area's recent Winter Olympics medalists: Benjamin Agosto (ice dancing) and, for the second time, Shani Davis (speed skating). More on Davis here.

"I Think Skating's Awesome"

In recognition of Black History Month, today's Sun-Times runs a list of Chicago's Top 10 Black Sports Heroes. Those included range from Air Jordan to boxer Jack Johnson. But, the next iteration of this list may well need to make room for speed skater and South Sider Shani Davis, who yesterday became the first African-American to win individual gold in the Winter Games.

No More Wolf With Fox

Love him or hate him, zany sports guy Bruce Wolf is a staple in Chicago sports journalism. Having worked at FOX Chicago for 18 years, Wolf was fired this week with no explanation given by either party. Sadly, like so much else, the Trib speculates it was about money.

Chicagoans @ Torino

Forgive me if you've heard this already, but there's gotta be some Chicago in Torino, right? Enter: ice hockey player Chris Chelios, ski jumper Georgi Zharkov and speed skater Shani Davis. Good luck, you guys!

Not Everyone Loves Harry

Unlike legions of Cubs and old school Sox fans, Milo Hamilton doesn't like Harry Caray...at all. Hamilton, the long-time broadcaster of the Houston Astros & former Cubs announcer, calls Caray a "miserable human being" in his recently published memoirs.

Where The Action Is

If you'd like to be part of the Windy City Rollers but, for some reason, can't join a team (ie, Y chromosome), here's your chance. The WCR is seeking referee applicants, and the only prerequisites are an age of 21+, "a love of sports and strong women," and some free time. Contact Mob Hit Molly for more information (and read up on the nuances of the game here).

South Side High School Evacuated

This afternoon, students from Chicago Vocational Career Academy were evacuated after a large fight broke out inside the building. The students have since returned to the school through metal detectors.

Does Not Play Well With Others

One distinction the White Sox would probably be happy without: catcher A.J. Pierzynski's spot on GQ's list of 10 Most Hated Athletes. (Sure enough, as the authors claim, plug it into Google, and Pierzynski shows up as the no. 1 "clubhouse cancer" result.)

Game for Inclusion

Over 8,000 athletes, representing over 30 countries, have already signed up for this year's Gay Games VII. Registration for sailing and golf are both near capacity, and festival organizers foresee ice hockey slots going quickly, too. Visit www.gaygameschicago.org to register as an athlete, performer, volunteer, official, or spectator. Chicago Games, Inc. (the Games' local host organization) will host a Town Hall Meeting this Friday, February 3.

Big Hurt in White Cleats

While most White Sox fans already knew that Frank Thomas would not be back with the team in 2006, those thoughts were solidified as the Sox career leader in nearly every offensive category signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday. The trade for Jim Thome and re-signing of Paul Konerko left no room for Thomas, who can only DH at this point in his storied career.

We're so bad, we know we're good

The 1985 Chicago Bears are the greatest football team of all time. How do we know this? Because the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation yesterday officially naming the '85 Bears the greatest ever. So to all the other football teams out there: too late! We called it! Also in the bill: a designation naming November 2005 (that is, November of last year) as "1985 Chicago Bears Championship Month". So all you time-travellers out there, hop back 2 months and enjoy the citywide celebration! Those of you stuck in the present, relive the magic by watching The Super Bowl Shuffle at IFILM.

Lacrosse by Jake

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced the newest Chicago professional sports team today, the Chicago Machine. MLL was totally founded by Jake "Body by Jake" Steinfeld. The Chicago Machine's head coach Kevin Finneran has this dream for the team: two guys meet in a bar, and "...one guy asks, 'Who won the Machine game last night?' The other guy says, 'Da Machine.'"

Your 2006 Sox, Handicapped

Phil Rogers lists five reasons the White Sox could repeat in the World Series this year -- and five reasons they might not. Via 1838 Miles to Tucson, the Chi-Town Daily News' Sox blog. (Donate here to help send C-TDN's sportswriters to spring training.)

Players in the Stands, Again

From Jason Maslanka, our intrepid Bulls columnist: "During last night's Bulls win over the Knicks in overtime, former Bull Antonio Davis climbed over the scorer's table and into the stands where he believed his wife was being harrassed by intoxicated fans. The moment was eerily similar to the start of last year's Pacers-Pistons brawl, but luckily, this occassion featured nothing more than some conversation and dirty looks."

Useless Sports Trivia - Wow Your Friends!

From the GB Dept. of Useless Trivia: many people blame the Cubs for the phrase "Out in left field." Why is that? There used to be a mental institution near left field. And who knew that the Blackhawks used to play in a former Confederate prison?

Bear Down, Study Up

The Trib has put together an informative mini-site dedicated to the Bears, where you can learn about the players, positions and plays. This could be considered a handy little study guide for any "bandwagon jumpers," not than any of you are, of course.

26 Miles in 10 Months

If one of your resolutions this year was to run the marathon, you can put your money where your mouth is and register now. Not that investing the $90 will make you go through with it, but a person's gotta start somewhere. This year's race is scheduled for October 22.

Love that Lovie

Bears coach Lovie Smith was named the AP's NFL Coach of the Year today, edging out Indianapolis' Tony Dungy. Smith, who turned the Bears around from 5-11 to 11-5 this season even in the midst of a quarterback crisis, joins the company of former Bears coaches of the year George Halas and Mike Ditka. The Bears are enjoying a first-round bye this weekend before facing one of three teams next week depending on wild-card outcomes (UPDATE: it'll be Carolina, Sunday at 3:30).

We're #1!

Men's Fitness magazine has released their annual list of the top 25 fittest and fattest cities in the US. Baltimore is America's fittest city. Chicago is America's fattest city, up from #5 in last year's list.

Midnight Yoga

Tomorrow night, skip the crobar-type madness you're planning, and head over to Bloom Yoga for Midnight Yoga. Eric Jeffers will lead a candlelight class accompanied by live music from Dan Godston of the Ways & Means Trio. Refreshments will follow the class. Bloom recommends pre-registration.

Da Bearscast

Our Bears in Five columnists, Craig Aichele and Ramsin Canon, love the Monsters of the Midway so much they've started doing a weekly podcast for the Chicago Sportscast Network: Bearscast.

Chicago's Polar Bear Swim

If you still want to get one final swim in (or be the first in the lake for the new year), the details for the 7th Annual Polar Bear Swim have been released.

LAPD is Family Friendly

The Los Angeles Police Department is sponsoring the volleyball competition at next year's Gay Games VII. Why, you might ask? They plan on doing a little recruitment while they're in town.

More Than Just Steel Mills

Lake Claremont Press's Chicago reminds us that Northwest Indiana is more than just steel mills. There are a variety of suggestions for winter fun in the Hoosier state, including a self-guided tour of Hammond, Ind. for A Christmas Story fans. Writer Jean Shephard grew up in Hammond and based the film on his hometown.

Oh Yes He Did!

If you missed Dennis Rodman's signing this afternoon at the Michigan Ave. Borders, Oh No They Didn't! has some pictures. Rodman's on the road supporting his new memoir (which makes what? three? four?), and authors appearing in Elvira drag is apparently the latest in book marketing. Or something.

Yoga is Hot

And the competition is about to heat up. Next weekend in Naperville, all the best Bikram Yogis (Bikram is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees) from Chicago will compete for a bid to the 3rd International Yoga Asana Championship 2006. Participants will be judged on seven poses within three minutes. Check Bikram Yoga Chicago's site for the competition details, and the dish about Bikram.

Chi XC Cup

The very last of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup races happens this Sunday, 10am at Montrose Harbor: The Illinois State Championship. What is cyclocross you ask? Watch women and men get down and dirty as they go up and down Cricket Hill and bike and then run and then bike around a muddy course. Yes, it's a legitimate cycling race. And hey, you get 10 extra points if you cross-dress for the finals this Sunday! What's not to love?

We're Keeping Konerko

Paul Konerko signed a 5-year, $60 million deal to stay with the White Sox yesterday. You can relax now.

Da Bears: Ride A Bike!

Here's a nice little story from August about how the Bears, working in conjunction with a local bike store, donated some bicycles they didn't need any longer to local youth south of Chicago. The best part: the whole reason they had the bikes in the first place was to get coaches up out of the golf carts to be more active. "It's pretty hard to preach getting in shape when you're riding around in golf carts."

On, Specialized and Cannondale!

This morning's snow makes for a good time to remember BikeWinter's events, designed to keep you cycling year-round.

"The Zenith of Indian and Jewish Life"

I've spent the last three days trying to establish what, exactly, is offensive about this (there must be something), but I've come up dry, so I guess I can recommend the sixth annual Indo Jew Bowl as wholesome Thanksgiving entertainment. Sikh and Semite alike don fantastic jerseys and go head-to-head to establish who the pillars of the community really are. It all goes down at noon at Niles North High School, with a canned-food drive and t-shirt sales to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. Best fan query: "If the Indos win, will there be a trip to New Delhi? If the Jews win, will there be a trip to the new deli on Oakton?"

Da Monsters of the Gridiron

We give you Sports in Five once a week. Say, though, you want more. One of Deadspin's recurring features is running down "Blogdom's Best"; today, it tackles the Bears.

I Always Thought Of It More As Girlstown

It will come to the surprise of just about no one that Cheetah ranks among Gay.com's most gay-popular gyms. What may surprise you (but perhaps shouldn't given the way the national media can't seem to get details about Chicago right lately) is that Boystown "surrounds" Andersonville.

Bear-on-Bear violence

The news out of the Bears camp this weekend wasn't all rainbows and record-setting touchdown runs. Offensive linemen Fred Miller and Olin Kreutz admitted yesterday that Kreutz broke Miller's jaw in a fight on a day off last week; they'd been covering it up by claiming Miller hurt himself in a fall at home. Details of what happened are still sketchy: the Tribune story says the two "spent the off day at an FBI shooting range in North Chicago," and that tension escalated "as more alcohol was consumed." Y'all, I can't help but think that if you've got a bunch of pro football players getting liquored up at a shooting range and a broken jaw is the worst thing that happens, that's a good day.

The Longest Drive

Bears cornerback Nathan Vasher caught a failed field-goal attempt by the 49ers yesterday near the back of the endzone, and ended up running it all the way for a touchdown, cementing the team's fifth win in a row. The 108-yard drive is the longest touchdown play in the history of the NFL.

Sox Series Stats

Eighty-eight years, 1,064 batters, 518 pitchers... ESPN.com's Useless Information Department compiles the figures separating then from now.

A+++!!! Would Parade Again!

Get your own (admittedly wispy) piece of White Sox history: ticker tape from today's parade is already appearing on eBay. Or, you know, head down to the parade route and scrounge for some yourself.

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Fun

Today's New York Times gets itself all tangled up about just what the White Sox win means. You know, in a metaphysical sense. While the sports section quotes fans using the word "redemption," on the Op-Ed page, Studs Terkel isn't so sure. My read on this? Celebrate now, cogitate later. To that end, who doesn't love a parade?! The forecast calls for ticker tape showers, starting at noon.

We Are the Champions

I doubt we have to tell you this, but...
THE WHITE SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!

All Those Useless Letters

Ever wonder why the Sox aren't the Socks? Wonder no more. Slate's "Explainer" takes a look at the early 20th century's rather strange linguistic priorities.

Last-Ditch Goatees

As the Astros struggle against the Sox, they've decided to switch things up a bit, see if they can gain some traction. To that end, they're shaving their beards. Which, you know, is sure to make all the difference.

Sox Fans Interact

White Sox Interactive is required reading during the World Series. Especially the forums, where fans let it all hang out in threads such as "You Write Tomorrow's Cubune Headline" and "Moments of Unintentional Humor."

Ignore the Sox, America

"The thing is, while the rest of the country might believe in baseball curses, Chicago White Sox fans don't. We don't blame a curse for our team's shortcomings, don't possess a sanguine 'Maybe next year' attitude when we fail. When we stink, we stink." Friend of GB Claire Zulkey's excellent column in today's Wall Street Journal Online. (Via Coudal, who's rooting for both teams tomorrow ...sort of.)

"I don't know if I'm a leader, but I have the biggest mouth"

In our continuing Ozzie Guillen coverage, the Washington Post profiles Ozzie today, complete with a rich repository of postseason Ozzie quotes. As Deadspin reports, "it's 90 percent Ozzie goodness and 10 percent beleaguered PR reps trying to settle him down."

I Wanna Be Like Ozzie

The World Series kicks off tomorrow, but the city is getting all dressed up today: there's a Sox hat on the Picasso sculpture and on the Art Institute's lions, other public art pieces are donning white socks, and supposedly 20,000 Ozzie Guillen masks are being passed out around town today. [Update: according to the Red Eye, the masks will be handed out on Saturday at Daley Plaza, around US Cellular Field and at the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau centers at 77 E. Randolph and 165 E. Pearson. No word on times. (Thanks, Claire and Rachelle)]

Slam!

Still in shock that several thousand White Sox tickets sold out in 18 minutes on Tuesday? The World Series apparently does not hold a candle to Wrestlemania. Tickets for Wrestlemania 22, to be held in Chicago on April 2nd of next year at the Allstate Arena, were put on sale last week -- and sold out in less than two minutes. And that was 15,000 tickets, people. Time to trade in your Sox jersey for a vintage Hulkamania T-shirt.

Where Everyone's a Superstar

Crunch Gyms' current membership promotion (Pay as You Go) reeks of cell phone plans made popular by wireless frontrunners T-Mobile and Virgin. But lousy marketing doesn't mean Crunch isn't super cool (it is). Current group fitness classes underway at Chicago Crunches include these innovative experiences: Crumpin' and Clownin', The Morning After Workout and BYOB (Bring Your Own Boyfriend) Yoga.

Sports in Five

Over there on the right, you'll notice a new column in Airbags: we've expanded Cubs & Sox in Five into Sports in Five. This week, it's just Sox and Bears, but the Bulls should be joining soon. We're also casting about for a hockey columnist -- email a sample to inbox@gapersblock.com if you're interested.

Sox Win! Sox Win! Sox Win!!!!1!1!

We're going to the World Series!!!

Truncated dedications

There's a new playground going in at Holstein Park; as a fundraiser, people can purchase a brick [PDF] for $75 with a message on it. Or so they believed: The Week Behind has a story about how many of the messages were trimmed down to just a name, without the knowledge or consent of the buyers.

Ride Irish

Here's unique way to combine city history and biking: Urbs in Horto is running its second annual Irish Chicago Bike Tour this Sunday, a liesurely 20-mile ride touring neighborhoods and locations important to the history of Irish in the city. $20 gets you the ride, a limited-edition silkscreen poster, dinner and music afterward and benefits Old Saint Patrick's SAFE program. Register for the ride here -- space is limited.

Whiteout

Even as White Sox fans mobbed the airport to welcome their division champion team home, local Red Sox fans had a weekend that was a bit less joyous. Jose Contreras will start at pitcher tomorrow night as Chicago guns for the American League title; game time is 7pm.

Kenyans still kicking marathon's ass

Congratulations to Kenyan runner Felix Limo, the winner of this year's Chicago Marathon. Limo beat out fellow Kenyan runner Evans Rutto, who has won the Chicago race in the last two years. In the women's category, American Deena Kastor beat out the defending champ, Romanian Constantina Domescu-Dita. Way to go, Deena! Not competing in the race, even though she signed up for it: runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. If you look up her time in the race results, you'll see that she didn't even record a time. Perhaps she ran to Albuquerque again?

Blame the Messenger

In an interesting riposte to Andrew's earlier note about lack of coverage of the Wrigley renovation, the Tribune quotes our mayor as "acknowledging" Chicago is a Cubs town, despite his White Sox allegiances. To blame? Well, according to Daley, none other than the Tribune and its all-encompassing media blanket. [via]

Wrigley Makeover Begins

Overshadowed (and rightly so) by the White Sox playoff performance, the start of Wrigley Field renovations has been reduced to a footnote -- the Tribune didn't even mention it. The right field wall has been opened up to begin construction of an expanded bleacher section. (Thanks, Brandon)

Hawk Hacks Competition

Writes FoGB Greg: "Just as the Pale Hose are turning it on at the right time, Ken 'Hawk' Harrelson is rolling through the field in The Road From Bristol's NIT, determining 'the most loathsome national sports broadcaster not on ESPN.' After besting Seth Davis, Steve Lyons, and Magic Johnson by a combined 112-27, Hawk's semifinal opponent is FOX Sports sideline reporter Tony Siragusa, who, after fending off a tough Bryant Gumbel, plowed through Howie Long and Chip Caray, 33-1 and 26-5. The other semifinal matchup is a battle of color commentators: FOX baseball's Tim McCarver against CBS basketball's Billy Packer."

Flower Power, Man

The Garfield Park Conservatory's workshops include a hatha-tantric yoga class taught by Seder Olcer. Held in the giant Horticulture Hall, classes are $12 each. Talk about taking the hatha-tantra technique triad (breath, thought, and seed) literally.

Put It On the Board ...Yes!

The White Sox have clinched the Central Division!

Wax On, Wax Off, Palatine

If you'd like to see the best of what the Karate world has to offer, this Saturday and Sunday brings the World Shotokan Karate Championship to Harper College in Palatine. Might be better than watching Bruce Lee on cable.

A Sports Fan's Dream Come True

Ever want to be a sportscaster? Now's your chance: The masterminds behind the popular Cubscast podcast are expanding with the Chicago Sportscast Network, and they're holding open auditions for commentators on the White Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks. Head over to the site to find out how to apply.

"Wrigley Should Never Be Closed! EVER!!!"

Billy Corgan's got some strong opinions about the Cubs. And, apparently, even stronger ones about Wrigley Field. There's the heritage, for one thing, and don't get him started about the music. [via]

The Dazzle Shoulders Hit a Snag

No doubt the folks in Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association flag football leagues play as rough and tumble as anyone else, but there's also the important detail of looking good doing so. Sometimes, however, it seems having a queer eye just isn't enough.

Hello Sky

And now it's time for news no one expects me to know: Today the Chicago WNBA made their debut, announcing their team name and colors. They will be the Chicago Sky, sporting (what else?) sky-blue and a nice sunny-yellow. Not bad choices, given what other city-inspired colors one might potentially dream up (Beneath-the-Tracks Brown, anyone?). The team starts playing at the UIC Pavillion in May 2006.

Broad Shoulders Broadsided

Outsports gives in-depth coverage to the difficult decision faced by GLBT athletes and their teams next year: Chicago's Gay Games or Montral's Outgames? An interesting detail in the extensive article: the fledgling Q Television plans to unscramble its signal so non-subscribers worldwide can watch the eight days of the Chicago event (while the channel currently has limited availability, it plans to expand significantly by next July). If you'd like to help make the (local) Games a success, there are several volunteer orientation sessions in the near future; details here.

Put It On the Board

Sports blog Braves Journal is running a bracketed tournament called The Road From Bristol to determine who was the "Most Loathsome Personality on ESPN". With Stuart "Boo-yah!" Scott claiming that dubious title, the RFB folks are now aiming at a new target: "Most Loathsome National Sports Broadcaster Not on ESPN." Today's matchup is White Sox broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson (who's popular enough to have his own hate site) versus CNN/SI commentator Seth Davis. Vote in the comments. (Thanks, Greg)

Ride While There's Still Time!

Its hard to believe right now, but this beautiful cycling weather wont be around forever. Enjoy it while it lasts, and join the Chicagoland Bicycle Federations Boulevard Lakefront Tour, which takes place tomorrow. You have until 6PM tonight to register, and can sign up (and pay) online using this form. Its true that tomorrows expected to be a hot one, but how hot can it be at 6 in the morning (when the ride starts)? Details in Slowdown.

Cubs in Five

We've added a new column to Airbags: Cubs in Five. Each week until the end of the Cubs season, Jeff Webber is giving you five talking points for those inevitable chats around the water cooler or at the bar. (If someone would like to write one for the Sox, contact me at inbox@gapersblock.com.)

Rally panties?

Yes, rally panties. Whatever it takes, I guess. They should send some to the Cubs.

Crosstown Classic In the Making

Reader Evan says, "I guess the Windy City Rollers couldn't satisfy this city's insatiable appetite for girls wrastling on rollerskates." The Chi-Town Sirens are recruiting for a rival roller derby league tonight at 9pm at Leila Jane's, 1008 W. Armitage.

What you're doing next year

Coming to Chicago next April: WrestleMania 22. You're going, right?

Wishin' and hopin' and prayin' and hatin'

Cubs fans, you're not alone. Anne Ursu, a long-time supporter of the Twins, writes in Salon today about her soul-corroding hate of the White Sox, hate only escalated by the Sox' successes this year. Ursu tries to work herself through the Kubler-Ross stages of grieving, and, well, she tries.

Breakin' a Sweat

It's not often you get the opportunity to get in shape and improve your dancefloor moves. Breakdance Chicago offers lessons, and they're guaranteed to be hipper than that Jazzercize class at the Y.

No Postseason for Chief Illiniwek?

The NCAA has just announced that it will not allow schools to use names or images of American Indian mascots at postseason tournaments, starting this year. This could mean a revision is in the future for University of Illinois' mascot Chief Illiniwek, who seems to be an annual source of debate. A quick google turns up plenty of sites devoted to keeping and retiring the Chief, which, in the end, will be a decision left up to the school.

"Holy Cow!" and Other Cubs Clichés

Cubscast, is running a contest: call the podcast's hotline at 773-828-4396 and do an impression of any Cubs broadcaster, past or present. The best impression will receive an autographed copy of Cubs Nation: 162 Games. 162 Stories. 1 Addiction by Gene Wojciechowski. Read the rules here.

LAX on attire

During their visit to the White House last week, Northwestern's NCAA Champion Women's Lacrosse team appeared in a photograph with President Bush. Several of the athletes were wearing flip-flops, a gaffe that has since created a minor controversy. Yesterday, in an interview on NBC's Today show, their coach announced some of the now-infamous shoes would be auctioned to benefit a 10-year old New York girl who became one of the team's biggest supporters this year, despite having a brain tumor. The auction, which starts today, will be held via the NUSports.com.

Bex Spotting

Keep your eye out for soccer superstar David Beckham; he and Real Madrid are in town for a Saturday game against Mexico's Chivas at Soldier Field. It's sold out, and so is a Journey concert at Northerly Island, so if you can avoid that area of town, you probably should -- traffic's going to be a nightmare.

The ten-year plan

Chicago's hosting the Gay Games in 2006, right? Well, if Maggie Haskins of Sports Illustrated has anything to say about it, the city would hold the Olympic Games just a decade later. Haskins writes an impassioned plea, going so far as to specifically call on Oprah and the mayor to get behind the idea. Thing is, she paints a picture rosy enough that it all starts to sound not just feasible, but pretty darn appealing. [via]

Rolling Start

The Windy City Rollers kick off their season tonight at the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. It's the Manic Attackers versus The Fury, then the Double Crossers versus Hell's Belles. Doors open at 5pm, and the match gets started at 6pm -- tickets are only $10. Check out some crazy roller derby action!

Searching for Stevie Bartman

ESPN feature writer Wayne Drehs tracked down "the most reclusive man in sports" on a quest to get some answers. Instead, he ended up giving Steve Bartman an apology.

Make-up Game

Some fans are more dedicated than others. My Fake Season is an account of the 2005-2006 NBA season, focusing on the Chicago Bulls. What's that? The season hasn't started yet? In the mind of Mike Aparicio, it has.

Theme Park Insider

School's out for summer! Today is the last day of school for Chicago Public School students, which means summer vacation is here, and it's time to hit the theme parks! Theme Park Insider rates and reviews major theme and amusement parks across the country and around the world. View individual ratings for rides, shows and food for Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL. For the morbid or curious, the site also maintains an Accident Watch, listing injuries and deaths reported at various parks. The last recorded incident for Six Flags involved a 52-year-old employee who died last year as a result of injuries sustained from an accident involving the Rajun Cajun ride. Stay safe, and check out the list of safety tips from Theme Park Insider writers and readers.

Run, Chicago, run!

Dirty or no, Runner's World has ranked Chicago fourth amongst the 25 Best Running Cities in America. They cite the CARA message boards as fostering a sense of community and, of course, the Lakefront for its uninterrupted footpaths.

Carl Everett, Gentleman and Scholar

White Sox DH Carl Everett tells the July issue of Maxim that "I don't believe in gay marriages and I don't believe in being gay." Fair enough, I guess; I don't believe in the designated hitter. Everett also tells Maxim that Wrigley Field should be "imploded," Tiger Woods is not an athlete, and "It's proven that 99 percent of baseball fans have no idea what they're watching." For the record, this is the same guy who told Sports Illustrated five years ago that dinosaurs never existed because they weren't in the Bible.

Go See'em Play

You know attendance is bad when the Wall Street Journal does a front page story about it. The White Sox have averaged about 20,000 fans at home games this season, despite having the best record in baseball. (Do you realize they've won two thirds of their games this season? Crazy!)

Riding in circles

On Sundays, a few of us get together and visit the Northbrook Velodrome for training and learning the ropes on how to race on the track. This is an exciting year for the velodrome as track racing interest has been high and new riders are coming out to race. Women and Juniors are highly welcome and there has been an increase in numbers for those. Visit the site for more info and learn about it. It's less daunting than you think and a lot of fun from a participant or viewer perspective. Take a look at some photos I took from last weekend's session.

Baseball organists: Going, going . . .

The LA Times looks at the status of the organist in the major league baseball experience and doesn't see much time left for a custom that started in 1940s Chicago. While Wrigley Field remains dedicated to traditional trappings, the White Sox' organist Nancy Faust doesn't expect to be replaced when she retires. That said, Faust, profiled in depth by the Chicago Maroon in 2003, does still get her moments to shine: one of the Sox' game-day promotions this month (the 22nd) is "Nothing but Nancy." Of course, not to put too fine a point on the future of the ballpark organ, the day is also the one marketed to seniors.

Luvabulls Auditions!!!

Hey, ladies! Are you willing to shake your teeny, tiny booty on top of a bar? Well, what about in front of thousands of fans at the United Center? You'd make a great Luvabull. Applications for next year's Bulls cheerleader/dance team are due this June 18 with auditions a week later. Go for it!

Chicago Bandits stole my heart!

These Chicago Bandits are the city's only women's professional softball team. Their first game is at 7pm this Thursday at the Sports Complex at Benedictine University in Lisle, which is accessible by Metra. They're playing almost every Thursday-Sunday through August. And even though their ticket prices are $8-$10, they're running some cool promotions. On Fridays, all women and any man wearing a skirt (including a kilt) gets in for half price. Just in case you can't make the game in person, Comcast Sports Net will be broadcasting it.

Three Lions Roll at Wembley West

Even without some of its star starters, England came, saw and conquered this weekend at Soldier Field. Although it was ostensibly a home loss for the USA, local soccer site The Fire Alarm notes not too many of the roughly 50,000 spectators seemed disappointed. (Sure enough, the prevalence of St. George's Cross in fan photos on Flickr [1|2|3] provides plenty of testament to that!)

Black Sox Lore

Stephen Dubner, who co-authored Freakonomics with U of C economist Stephen Levitt, examines a bit of Chicago sports history in the Freakonomics Blog: did the 1919 White Sox get their nickname, the "Black Sox," due to their throwing of the World Series or for their notoriously dirty uniforms?

The beautiful game(r)

Fans of the England Team will be happy to learn that David Beckham has fouled out of Real Madrid play for the rest of the season. As such, he should be available to take the pitch when his national squad takes on the US Men's Team at Soldier Field next weekend. This will be the fifth match and fifth European opponent the U.S. has played in Chicago since 1992; the most recent was against Poland last July. The game, scheduled for May 28th at 2pm, will be broadcast on ESPN, and tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
Update (23 May 2005): Well, with the dust settled, it seems there will be no Becks, after all. Even though he can't play, Madrid want him to stick around to train, meaning he'll not be in America at the weekend. Bummer.

The Other Marathon

It's hard not to know about the Chicago Marathon, but few outside the running community have ever heard of the city's other marathon, the Lakeshore Marathon. Run on Memorial Day, there's also a half-marathon and a 5k run/walk at the same time, so just about anyone can participate. Registration is still open, so jump in! (Thanks, Leslie)

Exercise and a healthy diet

Last week, 20 lucky folks were on the ball enough to register for the second annual Veggie Bike & Dine, to be held July 23rd. Those earlybirds sold out the first round of registration, but EarthSave Chicago and the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation can accomodate another 25 people on this progressive dinner of vegan-friendly places downtown. The next chance for signing up is May 29th. So, if biking and dining with a bunch of vegetarians sounds like something you could get into, you'll want to register for the event's email notifications -- they'll send a friendly reminder so you can get one of those remaining golden tickets. Incidentally, the 29th is also the day of Bike The Drive, details about which are here in Slowdown. (These events are just two of the many affiliated with Bike Chicago 2005.)

Not All Fun and Games

Blogger Andy Towle points out that next year's Gay Games, to be hosted here in Chicago, are already facing their share of political controversy. It seems the American Family Association is calling for its supporters to contact locally-based Kraft Foods and "tell them to pull their financial support." Given that the festival won't take place until next July, this could just be the beginning of the contentiousness. Meantime, the Games are hoping to boost early registration with parties this weekend at which attendees will save $25 on their fees. Interested? Get more information by phone (773/907-2006) or by e-mail (info[at]gaygameschicago[dot]org).
[Updated, a day later: Well, that sure didn't take long. This morning, the Illinois Familiy Institute introduced its "e-byte" service with the announcement that they aren't concerned about Kraft alone. Nope, they've got a bunch of axes to grind, namely with all of "the (non-homosexual) corporate sponsors ... for the Homosexuality 'Games.'"]

Golden Opportunity

This year's Chicago Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament gets underway this evening with bouts at St. Andrews Gym, 1658 W. Addison. The competition has seen a number of future boxing champions over its 82-year history, including Joe Louis, Mohammed Ali and Joe Frazier. (Thanks, Eamon!)

Your Star Baseball Team

After last night's win over Kansas City, the White Sox now not only have the best record in baseball, but also broke another long-standing record: they've led in all 26 games they've played this year, breating the record previously held by the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. Oh, and the Cubs lost again.

Take me out to (and back from) the ball game

The Sun-Times reports that a new trolley service running between Wrigley Field, Michigan Ave. hotels and the Ravenswood Metra station is set to start running on May 7th, when the Cubs play the Phillies. The trolley will be running during night games and weekend games, so all you Cubs fans who come to town just for the games now have a new option to parking near the field.

You'd think we could buy a pennant

The Chicago-based sports marketing firm Team Marketing Research yesterday released their 2005 MLB Fan Cost Index, comparing the cost for a family of four to attend a game at each of baseball's thirty parks. Their methodology, which accounts for average ticket prices, food, parking, and merchandise, puts both of Chicago's teams in the top five most expensive. A trip to a Sox game will run $188.07 (fifth), while a day at Wrigley comes in second at $210.01. Both clubs raised their ticket prices by more than 12% this year. (Thanks, Damon.)

Ask Mr. Bike

Now that the weather is warmer and more people are riding again, Mr. Bike, aka Chicagoan Dave Glowacz, has some great tips for urban biking on his site. He also writes a weekly cycling advice column that covers anything from fitting bikes for short women to dealing with the police.

Cubs Podcasting

If there's something new in the world, you know a Cubs fan is going to try it. Enter Cubscast, a new podcast feeding the daily fix for those unable to make it to the Friendly Confines.

Chicago Force Tackles New Season Head On

The Chicago Force is ready to make their 3rd season a winner, just like their previous two. If you wanna see a winning sports team in Chicago, head down to St. Rita's High School (79th and Western) this Saturday at 3pm. After the game you can head over to Hedgehogs (6915 Pershing Road, Stickney, Il) for a beer or glass of white wine with the team. If you can't make it to the game, you'll be able to get a webcast of the game at 7:30.

GOOOOAAAAALLLL!

In the "Taking it International" category, the Chicago Fire announced that Soldier Field will be the site of a double-header soccer game. On Wednesday, April 27 the Chicago Fire will play the New England Revolution and Poland will play Mexico. They haven't played each other since 1993 and that game ended in a tie, so this stands to be an absolutely insane day. If you're a season ticket holder, the game is included in the package. If you're not, tickets will range from $35 to $70, if you're lucky enough to get one.

Be a Roller!

Tonight you have a chance to find out the answer to this incredibly intriguing question: Do YOU have what it takes to join Chicago's all-girl flat track roller derby league? The Windy City Rollers are looking for a few good roller-skating women, and they're throwing a party tonight at Cork Lounge (1822 W. Addison) for interested lady skaters. No experience necessary, but you do get points for skating ability and personality. See the league's news page for full details. Also pay attention to the league's photo section, particularly the injury gallery.

"Celebrating More Than 80 Years of Losing!"

There are plans afoot to create a Chicago Baseball Museum showcasing all the contributions the city has made to the sport. All aspects of the game would be covered, including the old negro leagues, the short-lived women's league and even 16-inch softball. Maybe they could get the Negro League Cafe to run concessions.

Wait 'til next year

Ron Santo, the greatest third baseman in Cubs history and WGN color commentator, was denied induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, in a vote by the Baseball Veterans Committee. (In fact no eligible ball players garnered enough votes this year to make it into Cooperstown, but Santo and the late Gil Hodges came the closest.) There was some hope that he would have joined Ryne Sandberg in the Hall of Fame this year (Sandberg having been elected to the hall by the Baseball Writers Association of America), but no such luck. Perhaps next time the Cubs should send copies of This Old Cub to the committee? (Thanks to The Cub Reporter for the tip.)

More seats coming to Wrigley Field

It's official: the Cubs and the city have finally closed a deal to add 1,790 seats to Wrigley Field, construction for which could begin as soon as the end of this year's baseball season. To accommodate the new seats, Wrigley Field walls will have to extend an additional 8 feet onto the sidewalks of Waveland and Sheffield, which will alone cost the Cubs nearly $1 million.

Cubs fans: get on the wristbandwagon

Tickets for Cubs games go on sale tomorrow morning at 8:00, and all you fans know what that means: time to get your wristbands! Yep, you've gotta get a wristband if you want the privilege of standing in line to buy tickets. They'll be handing out wristbands at Wrigley Field today until 10pm, or until the wristband supply runs out. (You'll also be able to purchase tickets online, but that doesn't start until 10.) See the Cubs site for full details on the ticket purchase system.

Pint-sized Champion

11-year-old Khaled Almousa could kick your ass. The Southwest Side boxer just won the Silver Gloves, a national title, in the 10-11/80lbs. Division.

Jonny Cycles Custom Frames

Jonny Cycles, located in Madison Wisconsin (just around the corner from us Chicago folk), is crafting some amazing custom lugged steel framesets. Each frame is made to order and Jon (Mr. Jonny Cycles) works with each customer from start to finish to create the perfect ride. See for yourself...check out the gallery of beautiful bikes on his site! He also happens to be a mechanic at one of the best bike shops in the midwest, Yellow Jersey. Get your name on the list fast!

Last Steve Bartman story ever, part 3

You've got to be kidding me: Harry Caray's restaurant to make a "curse-ending" spaghetti sauce made with bits of the Steve Bartman baseball?! PLEASE let this be the last that we see of the infamous baseball!

Got $4.5 million?

Buy Sammy Sosa's condo! 6,600 square feet, 5½ bathrooms and 7 bedrooms "if you count the theater", according to the sales agent handling the sale.

Curling

If you've been thinking that you need to start doing some exercise but you're just not a traditional sports kinda player, then maybe curling is for you. Sure it's an esoteric sport here in the states, but it dates back to the 1500's in Scotland. The Chicago Curling Club is having their final open house this weekend where you can come find out more about the sport. You may be a natural in which case you could work your way up to the U.S. Olympic Team.

WNBA slam-dunks in Chicago

Even though Da Bulls are improving lately, Chicago hasn't had a women's basketball team to rally around. That's all changing finally, in May 2006, cause Chicago is getting an official WNBA franchise. Season tickets went on sale yesterday, but I bet there are still a few left, so now is your chance to get in on the ground floor. (Thanks, Roni.)

Baseball blogs

Chicago writer Stuart Shea, author of Wrigley Field: The Unauthorized Biography, has started a blog, Baseball and Real Life, where he covers the Cubs and the Sox alongside rock n' roll, politics and more. With pitchers and catchers for both teams reporting next Wednesday, it's a good one to add to your bookmarks alongside other excellent baseball blogs like Most Valuable Network's White Sox-oriented Exile in Wrigleyville and Cubs-focused Behind the Ivy.

Then & Now: William Perry

Just in time for the Superbowl, CNN.com runs an update on William "The Refrigerator" Perry. Watch for a new commercial with Perry, Da Coach and the Punky QB during the Superbowl this Sunday. He's a grandfather now, as well as father to a strapping 6 feet, 260 pound, 12 year old son; another possible football star in that family. Perry enjoys his retirement and loves meeting fans. He also likes to talk to kids at local schools with a positive message: stay in school, work hard, listen to and respect your elders.

Alderman okays Cubs expansion

The expansion of Wrigley Field gets one step closer to reality, as 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney has given his blessing to the Cubs' plans for building 1,790 new bleacher seats, as well as developing land near the ballpark into a combination parking deck, restaurant and Cubs hall of fame. Tunney okayed the plan after the Cubs agreed to create a 7,000-10,000 square foot neighborhood park at a location to be determined.

Illinois is for 'Ballers

Suddenly Illinois is a basketball state. The Illini are at the top of the standings, undefeated, and have you noticed the Bulls are doing amazingly well? They totally sucked for most of the season, then all of a sudden they're two games over .500 and have won 11 of their last 12 games. They could make it to the playoffs for the first time in years! Crazy world.

Can Jimmy Buffett break the Cubs' curse?

The Cubs have decided to hold a pair of concerts at Wrigley Field on Labor Day weekend. The Lakeview neighborhood board has okayed the plan, and they're waiting for City Hall to give the go-ahead on the concerts. The Cubs have even got a headlining act in mind: Jimmy Buffett, who played Fenway Park in Boston last year and tried to break the Curse of the Bambino. (That appeared to work.) Can Buffett, a long-time Cubs fan, work his Margaritaville magic on the Billygoat Curse? Stay tuned....

KIP

Knitting in Public. There are several local groups where you can meet up with other knitters and knit at a coffee shop or someone's home. Well now, the Chicago Park District is getting in on the act. (scroll down the list) If you thought the parks were just for soccer and basketball, you'd be highly mistaken. There are also several sewing programs. (search for "sewing")

SNOW MADNESS!

Bummed that the toboggan runs in the Forest Preserve are closed? Looking to get out and play in the snow? Here are some resources about where to go.

1. If getting out and away from home isn't an option, then know that this is less than ideal snow-angel snow. I'd save that for later.

2. This is absolutely incredible snowball-fight snow, and the snow is wet and packable. Keep that in mind.

3. I tried to beat the rush and went out and got my sleds last night ($10/per at Kmart). A few places that come to mind for sledding are: Montrose Hill, Gompers Park, Robichaux Park. The Forest Preserve District has some info on sledding, but the Chicago Park District does not (even though the home page of the Chicago Park District currently has a picture of someone sledding).

4. Skiing is an option too, if you got the skis.

5. After years of careful research, I can tell you the vodka goes best with hot chocolate.

6. Despite the storm, everyone will expect you at work. But calling in sick to play in the snow is darn tempting, isn't it?

Hall of Ryno Fame

Congratulations to Ryne Sandberg for making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame! It's about time they recognized.

Rock the cradle of Cubs

The Cubs have found a new way to recruit young fans before anyone else can get to them. Starting New Year's Day, babies born at Northwestern Memorial, St. Joseph, and Illinois Masonic hospitals will get a Cubs-logo knit newborn hat provided by the club. The team has purchased more than 10,000 hats for the hospitals. The first baby born at each hospital Saturday morning will also receive a gift basket of baby clothes from the team.

Wrigley nets still in play for '05 season

On Monday, Buildings Commissioner Stan Kaderbek received a draft report by engineers on the subject of the concrete that fell in Wrigley Field over the last year. The Sun-Times reports that the cause appears to be aging concrete, combined with the freeze-and-thaw cycles that you get in an average Chicago winter. The report recommends that the safety nets to catch falling concrete stay in place for the 2005 season, even though Kaderbek said earlier this year, "Those nets have to come down by April."

Classic Championship Wrestling

Don't have the cash to spring for expensive WWE Events? The Woodstock VFW Post 5040 is hosting Classic Championship Wrestling this Saturday out in McHenry County. CCW WrestleRage II (Revenge is SERVED!) will feature classics like a steel cage match, tag team, and the crowning of the CCW World Heavyweight Title. It's only $10 in advance and the fun gets started at 7pm.

Yoga Chicago

Yoga Chicago is just what it sounds like: a fairly comprehensive site for yoga resources in Chicago. Plus, it mirrors all of the articles run in the print version of the magazine. The directory of classes is a nearly complete listing of all yoga studios and classes in Chicago. However, if you know you are interested in a particular style of yoga, Centerstage has a good breakdown of yoga styles offered by each studio.

Second Cubs broadcaster leaves

Speaking of baseball, Cubs broadcast analyst Steve Stone announced his resignation last night; it follows his former partner Chip Caray's resignation earlier this month. Both broadcasters were well-liked by fans and respected in the industry—except, that is, by certain Cubs players and management. Sentiment seems to be running with the broadcasters and against the organization both in the papers and online.

Sammy and the Mets?

Just two days after the season ended, and Chicago baseball teams are in negotiations with their players. The Tribune reports that the New York Mets are eyeing Sammy Sosa, who the Cubs are looking to dump, though at a high price. It looks like Nomar Garciaparra could still be with the Cubs next year, but only on a 1-year contract. The Cubs are also taking an interest in Astros' outfielder Carlos Beltran, who, according to the Sun-Times, might be ready to leave Houston. The White Sox, meanwhile, have re-signed Frank Thomas and Carl Everett, as well as Shingo Takatsu, while dropping injured catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. Is it time for spring training, yet?

Roller Derby, Chicago Style

Did you know that the roller derby phenomenon started in Chicago? The women who competed in the first contests were just as tough as the men. The Windy City Rollers are ready to prove that hasn't changed as they polish their skates and practice their elbow jabs before their inaugural season this winter. You can see them at the Derby Doll's Debut Ball at The Liar's Club Thursday night. These ladies aren't just raising money to get "Chicago's only all-female flat track roller derby league" off the ground -- they'll also be donating some cashola to the Chicago Abused Women Coalition and Planned Parenthood.

Michael Jordan Motorsports

Did you know Michael Jordan is into motorcycle racing? Neither did I, until I spotted this article in the Daily Southtown. He's apparently a big fan, and owns a Ducati with his famous "Jumpman" icon on the side.

Baseball wrapup

Chicago's baseball season officially ended this weekend: the White Sox clinched their fate two weeks ago when they ceded the AL Central to the Twins, while the Cubs preferred a slow, agonizing slide to futility, keeping within reach of the NL wild card until Saturday. Both teams ended the year with wins yesterday and winning records overall; that and five bucks will get them a cup of Starbucks. Cubs play-by-play man Chip Caray announced yesterday he's joining his dad in the Braves booth (the Tribune has an early list of possible replacements), and his partner Steve Stone may or may not be sticking around. The Cubs and Sox both will move their cable games from Fox to the new Comcast SportsNet, which debuted this weekend.

En Garde!

If you've ever wanted to challenge someone to a duel, but lacked the sabre skills, you can now brush up on the weekends. The Chicago Athletic Association Fencers Club offers classes for beginners as well as advanced fencers on weeknights and on Saturday and Sunday mornings downtown. Pretty soon, you'll know the difference between an "epee" and a "foil" (hint: it has to do with where you can stick it). [via Daily Candy]

Chicago, the Card Game(s)

Leave it to the Swedes to name an obscure card game after our fair city. It turns out, however, that there's also a version of bridge called Chicago, as well as a poker variant. (You'd think a bridge game named after the city would have no east position, but alas, it does.)

South Side Marlins?

The World Champion Florida Marlins are spending some quality time in Chicago. For a few days this week, the Marlins are setting up shop down in U.S. Cellular field. Hurricane Ivan, dubbed "Pudge" after the former Marlins catcher, has forced the team to find a home field elsewhere. Seeing as the White Sox had some away games, and the Marlins just came to town to play a series against the Cubs, MLB put a plan into high gear. Tickets to the games are $15 at the box office, with $5 going to hurricane relief. The seats are first come, first served, which offers casual baseball fans a nice opportunity to see some great ball. One more game today at 1:05 CST for anyone looking to spend these last few warm days taking in some great baseball for a good cause.

A fondness of beaches:

As the summer of 2004 slowly fades into memory, we Chicagoans would be wise to remember our beaches. According to the Christian Science Monitor: "It's not Hawaii, but to city dwellers, the 25 miles of shoreline are consolation for long, cold winters, and offer a microcosm of the city itself."

North Beach Spikes

The AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour hits North Avenue Beach today, featuring Olympic gold medalists Misty May and Kerri Walsh and six other Olympic players. The tournament runs through Monday, with the women's final at 11:30am Sunday and men's final at 1:30pm Monday (after May and Walsh's performance last week, maybe they should switch that around). Free general admission tonight and tomorrow, tickets are $10 for Saturday and Sunday (no word about Monday). Also, you can party with the players Saturday night at Duffy's, 422 W. Diversey, from 8:30-11:30pm for just $20, booze and food included. Score!

South Side Sluggin'

Unlike the Cubs, the Sox are pretty much out of playoff contention at this point. Since they are, Sox fans can focus on other things - like Joe Borchard's record 504 foot home run. It's the longest ever at Comisk... er, the Cell.

How Manny Ramirez Spent His Day Off

Last weekend, the Boston Red Sox came to town for a series with the struggling White Sox. Boston came in with pretty big expectations and didn't disappoint the fans back east, closing the weekend with a sweep. After arriving, the Boston team was treated to a day off. Just how did Manny Ramirez spend a day off in Chicago? Shopping Michigan Avenue, watching movies, or on a road trip to Manteno? Manny took a limo on a drive through the cornfields, to Rad Rides By Troy, a customization shop he spied on the Discovery Channel awhile back. Troy is working on a pretty exciting ride for Manny's dad, and Manny checked out the work while in town.

Is it safe?

The city is looking for further proof from the Cubs that Wrigley Field is structurally sound. If proof is not delivered to the City Building Commissioner by Monday, then Wrigley Field will be closed. Furthermore, the problem isn't confined to the ballpark: one of the rooftop decks is being threatened with closure if it can't provide proof of stability.

Finish line

The Chicago Marathon will close registration in about five hours has closed registration. This is the earliest the field of 40,000 has ever filled, beating last year by a week. Some slots remain for those raising money for charity, or one can always watch instead.

Marathon Man

The Chicago Marathon is only a couple months away, and Mike Paus is blogging his preparations for the 26.2-mile run. (You might also be interested in the videos of him playing with glowsticks on strings, or his Tinley Park bar crawl page.)

Today's odd sports-related injury story

A woman was hit by a ball after a White Sox game. Not a baseball... a golf ball. She's suing the Sox for not preventing the incident, which apparently involved someone hitting golf balls in the parking lot. Well, good luck on that.

The hits of baseball

ESPN has assembled a list of songs played before at-bats of various Cubs and White Sox. (In 1941 Wrigley Field became baseball's first park to install an organ and is the only one that still plays introductions on the organ. Indeed, one hidden joy of going to a game is recognizing the gag songs that organist Gary Pressy plays to taunt opposing players, such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for Houston's Mike Lamb. Trivia: Pressy is who guesses a home run's distance for the Southwest Airlines "How Far Did It Fly" contest.)

Wrigleyville community meeting

The Cubs, along with aldermen Tunney, Shiller, Schulter and Matlak, are holding a community meeting tonight for midseason review of the Wrigleyville Neighborhood Protection Plan agreed to by the Cubs in exchange for an increase in night games. Residents with questions about traffic management, litter, or other such considerations might want to attend. Questions like "Don't you think Nomar is too little, too late?" probably should be reserved for another forum.

Storm Tix On Sale

Tickets to the inaugural season of the Chicago Storm pro indoor soccer team went on sale today. For as little as $190, you could get a season pass for the city's newest pro team. (I just wish they called them The Sting, like the old NASL team.) Meantime, there are still six regular season games left for The Fire.

Fantasy baseball

When White Sox pitchers last week hit Twins infielder Corey Koskie three times in one game -- tying a record -- a Minnesota fan was dismayed that no bench-clearing brawl ensued. To fill the void she used the magic of Legos to dramatize what may not have actually happened but should have. A friend observes that the Darth Vader revelation explains much about Frank Thomas: his unpopularity in spite of great power, his tendency to choke with force and his destiny to fall. (Via BRPA 2004.)

Get the net!

The inspection for falling chunks of concrete at Wrigley Field continues this week, and with a home game scheduled on Friday, the Cubs don't want to take any chances. So they've ordered a safety net to protect fans from falling debris from the upper deck. Meanwhile, Alderman Bernie Stone has a solution for the falling debris problem: close Wrigley Field.

Soldier Field no longer a landmark?

The National Park Service issued a report yesterday that recommended that Soldier Field should lose its National Historic Landmark status, because the recent renovations to the statium has destroyed its historic character. The recommendation doesn't take effect right away; the status will be voted upon by the Advisory Board Landmarks Committee in September, which will then send its recommendation to the full board, which will forward its recommendation to the US Secretary of the Interior, etc., etc., etc. In short, this issue will drag out for several months, which should give Bears fans one more thing to worry about this fall.

On your marks

Runners considering October's Chicago Marathon but who haven't registered yet should do so soon: The field of 40,000 is expected to fill in just a few weeks.

Cubs fans, watch out for falling concrete!

The Sun-Times reports that concrete appears to be falling from Wrigley Field's upper decks. There have been two incidents in the last 5 weeks, so the Cubs have hired a structural engineer to perform a top-to-bottom inspection of the ballpark. Inspections are usually done annually for off-season maintenance, but the piece of the upper deck that fell on Friday (and was displayed on the news this weekend) spurred the Cubs into taking action.

Chicago's largest bowling alley closing

Chicago's largest bowling alley, Marzano's Miami Bowl, is closing due to slow business. The 80-lane bowling complex has been open for 49 years, but the current manager, Dan Marzano, says the business had been in a decline since 9/11. GB readers may recall that earlier this year, the Marigold Bowl also closed up after 60-plus years of service to the Wrigleyville area. It's a bad time to be in the bowling business, apparently. (Thanks to Big Happy Funhouse for the tip.)

Wrestlemania

WWE may get the TV coverage, but there are small, local pro wrestling federations all across the country. Chicago has several, but Windy City Pro Wrestling's website seems to be working at the moment. In the meantime, you can get news on all the local clubs direct from ChicagoWrestling.com. (There's also the Chicago Pro Wrestling Club, a gay wrestling group that meets at Touché, but they don't seem to get much coverage.)

Wake up for the mountain stage

Craving some large-screen Tour de France action and willing to get up early for it? A Lincolnshire theater will be showing live race coverage on a movie screen at 6 a.m. on Saturday. There's a $25 registration fee, but it seems to include breakfast.

Lance a lot

Cycling fans will be waking at dawn this month to watch live coverage of the Tour de France. If they can wait 12 hours, French restaurant Brasserie Joe will show each day's racing at 6 p.m. with food and drink specials tied to that day's region of the tour, and the Outdoor Life Network is teaming with three Lincoln Park bars to show delayed coverage of some of the stages. On July 17, the Tyler Hamilton Foundation will raise funds with a breakfast viewing in Lincolnshire.

Stiff Competition

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has had it in for Tribune basketball writer Sam Smith for awhile. Now's he's upset that Smith called Mavericks draftee Pavel Podkolzine a "stiff" and issues the following challenge: "I will donate $10,000 to the charity of your choice if you can prove that you have ever seen Pavel play in person or on tape ... If you lose, you change your business card title and Tribune byline to 'Sports Gossip Columnist.' I will even pay for the cards."

Cubs rooftop arguments heat up again

Three months after all the agreements between Wrigley Field and local rooftop clubs were hammered out, a new club at 950 W. Addison has sprung up, and the Cubs are planning to block its view of the field.

Billy Corgan's day job redux

As previously reported at GB, Billy Corgan has a new job as Cubs reporter for XRT these days. And according to the Trib, his new job is going pretty well. Corgan sez: "I don't take it seriously. I view it as entertainment. I'm by no means an expert, but then again, I think most 'experts' aren't experts either." Well said, Billy!

Give me a bike!

Feeling lucky? Bike Town USA, sponsored by Bicycling magazine, is giving away 50 free bikes to folks in Chicago and several other cities. For your chance to win a free bike, describe, in 50 words or less, how biking will change your life. Visit the Bike Town USA website for complete rules and application. The deadline is June 30 (and you can fax your entry) so hurry up and enter!

Chief Illiniwek vote delayed

The U of I board of trustees is expected to introduce on Thursday a resolution to delay a vote on whether to keep the controversial sports mascot Chief Illiniwek. The resolution instead calls for a "consensus conclusion" to the Illiniwek debate. It is unclear as to what this compromise would entail; in a report delivered to trustees in March of 2002, former trustee Roger Plummer said that "after nine months of reviewing options presented for a 'compromise' resolution, including many unsolicited recommendations, it is abundantly clear that there is no 'compromise' available."

Whoops! Cubs don't own parking lot

The Sun-Times reports that a plot of land currently being used for a parking lot at Wrigley Field was bought in 1982 from a railroad company that didn't have the right to sell it. The Cubs are currently working on a deal to purchase the land for real this time, because they're hoping to turn the lot into a parking deck, a Cubs Hall of Fame and a sports-themed restaurant.

Madison to Chicago Relay

Speaking of running, the Great Midwest Relay is coming up in a couple days. Twelve-person teams run from Madison to Milwaukee to Chicago -- 175 miles total -- in 36 legs over two days (June 10 and 11). Registration is still open, so get your buddies together and see how far you can go!

On the road again

Anyone considering this fall's Chicago Marathon should lace up now. Hal Higdon's celebrated 18-week training schedule kicks off today, as do CARA's group training sessions.

Ride Around the 35th

Saturday, join Rey Colon on a bike ride around the 35th Ward. The 35th is home to Logan Square, rumored to be bike-cooler than even Wicker Park. The ride is free. The first 50 to the start will get a free t-shirt. Start time is 10am from Palmer Square, between Kedzie and Sacramento on Palmer (two blocks south of Fullerton). After the ride will be a free lunch in Palmer Square. This will be a short (8 miles) ride.

And now for that other sport

As a once obsessive badminton player in Kuala Lumpur, I've been interested to find out what one can do to remedy a long period of non-playing here in Chicago. It seems Illinois does have a few places to play and that the University of Chicago has a club and team (that has won college tournaments). However, I'd like to know more. Send tips and info to nh at gapersblock.com.

Get your kickball on

The World Adult Kickball Association has just started up its 2004 season. Chicago games will be on Tuesday or Wednesday nights at Chase Park (4725 N. Ashland); registration is still open.

Gay Games Update

The Advocate reports that the organizers of the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago will launch a new Website, GayGamesChicago.org, on Friday. The site's up already (although registration for the games doesn't start until June), so you can peruse the list of upcoming events (mostly fundraising and volunteer meetings for now) and information for people who would like to volunteer.

Chicago Repeats as favorite MLB city

As reported last year, Chicago is MLB's favorite place to play. This year, MLB.com again polled 95 players representing the 30 teams on their favorite road city. The winner? Chicago, with 35 votes. Second was New York City with 15 votes. Food, shopping, nightlife, cleanliness --- it all adds up to My Kind of Town.

Billy Corgan gets a day job

Billy Corgan is now apparently the Chicago Cubs correspondent for WXRT. The radio station's programming veep, Norm Winer, says Corgan will provide analysis and commentary on the team's previous week performance and preview the upcoming week's game series. (Thanks to Chicagomuzik for the tip, and also for providing big laffs with the headline "This Is Not An Onion Article.")

Down with ol' pee-pee

Cubs left-fielder Moises Alou hit .400 this week with 3 home runs and 4 RBIs. How did he do it? Peeing on his hands to harden them may have helped. Apparently he's not alone in the practice. But Slate points out that urea is a common ingredient in skin moisturizers, and the fact that Alou has only 8 errors in his Cub career suggests very soft hands indeed.

Speaking of Baseball

What's the difference between Cubs fans and White Sox fans? Claire Zulkey was recently asked that question, and turned to "two totally separate biased people" for the answer.

Prior gets his sheepskin

Cubs pitching phenom Mark Prior, All-Star, Cy Young finalist, Collegiate Player of the Year, first round draft pick, &c., can now add one more title to his ever-growing list of accolades: Bachelor of Business. After finishing off his remaining credits over the past couple years, Prior will be getting his college diploma when he walks in the USC commencement ceremonies on Friday.

Northsiders vs. Southsiders

We aim to make you laugh every morning (at least we try to) and thus here comes the official GB Humorous Moment of the Day yet again. Northsiders vs. Southsiders, a funny "look" at the difference between watching the Cubs and watching the Sox. Note: flash movie.

Metro Night Game

Metro has come up with an interesting way to showcase local bands on Cubs game days: This coming Tuesday, watch the game at Metro on the biggest screen Wrigleyville -- the back wall of the stage -- then stick around for a set by Burn Rome Burn. Admission is free during the game, and they're offering $2 Miller/Miller Lite pints. Doors open at 6pm.

Yeah, that oughta work

Not content with previous attempts to lift the Cubs' curse, State Rep. John Fritchey decided to write a piece of legislation declaring the curse "no more." Does this mean that if the Cubs don't win this year, they'll be violating state law?

Are you ready for some football?

Ha! You thought the days of shoulder pads, pigskin, and tight pants were over. Wrong! It's now time to see the Chicago Force, stomp the competition and make it to the playoffs, just like they did last year. These women are tough! These women are skilled! These women are playing their second game on Saturday! What better way to enjoy the warm weather, than hanging outside and watching a Chicago team win?

Let's Blog Two!

There are blogs about everything, so of course there are some that focus solely on the Cubs and Sox. And if your not a fan of the home teams, BaseballBlogs.org can point you to one for your team.

Sun-Times nearly handed Cubs promotion deal

Crain's Chicago Business reports that the Sun-Times was given a proposal by the Tribune that would have made the Sun-Times the sponsor of a "guess the attendance" contest during radio broadcasts of the Tribune-owned ball team. A few hours after the proposal was accepted by the Sun-Times, a WGN sales manager called to say that a Tribune exec had stopped the deal. Okay, everyone point at the Tribune building and say "Haw-haw!"

Games et Macs

Which baseball team does the well-organized geek prefer? At iCalShare, various Cubs schedules have been downloaded 883 times, with 356 downloads for Sox schedules. (Surprisingly, none of the Cubs schedules have reminders to leave early to hit the bars and/or drive back to the suburbs.)

You're (sold) out!

The Tribune reports that expectations for the Cubs are still riding high from last year's close call with success, and as a result, despite increasing ticket prices at Wrigley Field, the ballpark is pretty well sold out for the entire year. (Obstructed view tickets, as always, are still available.)

Rooftop baseball argument settled

Last month, GB mentioned that Skybox on Waveland was the only remaining rooftop baseball business that was still being threatened by the Cubs in a lawsuit, and was going to have its view of the action in Wrigley Field blocked in some manner. Well, now comes word that an agreement between Skybox and the Cubs has been reached, meaning that Monday's season-opener at Wrigley Field will be free of controversy. At least as far as rooftop baseball proprietors are concerned.

Win a chance to buy Wrigley Field boxes

Over 200 box seats behind home plate were added to Wrigley Field for the 2004 season, and now Cubs fans can enter a box seats lottery -- not to win seats, of course, but to win a chance to buy seats.

Bike The Drive Registration Open!

Don't miss the third annual Bike The Drive. Once again, Lake Shore Drive will be closed to car traffic for this great ride on the Sunday before Memorial Day, May 30, from 5:30am to 10am. Be one of 25,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities to once again ride their bikes on a car-free LSD and enjoy gorgeous views of the city's skyline while breathing fresh air instead of exhaust. Riders must register in advance ($35) and registration is limited to the first 25,000 cyclists. Visit Bike The Drive, go into local bike or athletic stores for a brochure, or call 312-42-PEDAL for more info.

Slammin'

Billy Jean King would be proud. The spotlight was on outstanding Naperville Central High School senior Candace Parker Monday night as she became the first woman to win the Slam Dunk contest at McDonald's High School All-American Game in Oklahoma City. Candace, who's headed to play for Tennessee next fall, joins the ranks of such stand-out college basketball stars as LeBron James, Vince Carter, and Jerry Stackhouse who all won the Dunk Contest before heading off to their college basketball careers.

Injury Won't Go Away

Cubs fans -- of which, apparently, there are many -- are starting to worry about the nagging achilles injury to stud pitcher Mark Prior The injury isn't going away, and may be leading to even more problems. Luckily for the Cubs, they have a gazillion very good pitchers.

Wrigleyville meter holidays cancelled

In response to complaints from businesses around Wrigley Field, Alderman Tom Tunney has removed the Sunday meter holiday from certain streets around the ballpark, which will hopefully prevent Cubs fans from parking at the meters all day. Enforcement will continue through the Cubs off-season, so be careful if you decide to go to a Sunday brunch at Ann Sather on Belmont.

This Old Cub

"This Old Cub" is a documentary of Cubs great Ron Santo' battle with diabetes, specifically his recent leg amputation. Directed by Santo's son, Jeff, this is a must-see for any die-hard Cubs fan. It opens in several local theaters tomorrow; check the Reader listing tonight for show times.

Skybox to be blocked from Wrigley view

The Cubs have reached agreements with 12 out of 13 nearby rooftop businesses that were named in a December 2002 lawsuit to prevent these businesses from charging patrons to see the game on their rooftops. The one remaining business, Skybox on Waveland, will have its view of the field blocked by the Cubs in some unknown manner. Screens? Big balloons? A huge Harry Caray statue? Time will tell...

Keep the Chief

U of I students were asked to vote this week on whether or not to keep the controversial team mascot Chief Illiniwek. The results: a resounding vote to keep the Chief, albeit from a mere one-third of the student body.

Karma on two wheels

The third annual Ride for AIDS Chicago is looking for riders, crew volunteers and pledgers for a two-day, 200 mile trip between Chicago and Lake Geneva to take place the first weekend of June. Each rider is expected to raise $1000 in pledges, 100% of which is returned to Test Positive Aware Network and BEHIV.

Play ball

It's not often that I'm happy to hear the voice of Ron Santo, but now is such an occasion: The Cubs are at this moment playing their first spring training game. Tune in at WGN (AM 720) or online.

Chicago to Host Gay Games

We beat out the competition from Los Angeles, as the Federation of Gay Games announced today that Chicago will host the 2006 games. Gay Games VII are predicted to host 20,000 participants and 250,000 spectators at dozens of local venues, bring more than 10,000 visitors to Chicago and generate up to $50 million in revenue. Chicago Games submitted a $6.1 million bid that focuses only on athletic events. The proposal dropped plans for an arts and humanities festival in Millennium Park, and reduced the number of sports organizers guaranteed to 22 from 30.

We're #1 (in cardiac testing)!

The Tribune reports that Carmel High School's football team, after winning its first state championship last fall, is trying to make strides in another field: echocardiograms. The team all took the heart tests, which can detect heart problems that may cause sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes. All team members received a clean bill of health.

Is it a man's man's man's world?

Annika Sorenstam, Billy Bean, Lindsy McLean, Katie Hnida: just a few people who might have something to say on the subject of Erin McCarthy's lecture this week. Dr. McCarthy, a history lecturer at Columbia College, will present Sport and Sexuality: (Nearly) the Last Bastion of Sexism and Homophobia at 6pm Thursday at the Chicago Cultural Center. It's part of the Intersections series presented by Columbia and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Admission is free.

Up the Hancock!

How long would it take you to run up the 1,632 steps of the 94 floors of the Hancock Center? In yesterday's Hustle Up The Hancock fundraiser, the winning times were 9 minutes 49 seconds (male) and 11 minutes 10 seconds (female). The event raised $500,000 for the American Lung Association.

Last Steve Bartman story ever, part 2

Let this be the end of the curse! Thursday night at Harry Caray's restaurant, the infamous baseball from the Cubs-Marlins playoff game will be destroyed. Although... Moises Alou's glove will still be around. dramatic music...

Welcome Back Mr. Maddux

Bringing joy to the hearts of Cub fans and unbreaking, soul-crushing sorrow to White Sox fans, the Chicago Cubs have signed first-ballot Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux. I bet everybody on the North Side feels really special. Well, we got Shingo Takatsu! Just how much more active are the Cubs than the White Sox this offseason? Compare their transactions to date: Cubs...Sox

The thaw begins

The most beautiful words in the English language are not "I love you," nor are they "Of course you can have seconds." They are "pitchers and catchers report." The Cubs' batteries do so Wednesday, the Sox on Friday, a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. Soon our sidewalks will again be populated by mango vendors and children jumping rope. As of Jan. 29, Vegas gave the North Siders 3:1 odds to win the World Series, compared with 15:1 for the White Sox.

Fumbling with the Bra

Lucky us: Chicago will be home to one of the four charter teams in the newly announced Lingerie Football League. The Chicago Passion, Los Angeles Dream, New York Euphoria and Dallas Desire will kick off their inaugural, three-game (including the second Lingerie Bowl) season next January. Don't expect to catch practices anywhere nearby -- this is a pay-per-view only event.

Not surprisingly, all this doesn't sit well with the members of the Chicago Force, our local Independent Women's Football League. "You know what I wish?'' said Dee Walker, a 6-1, 190-pound fullback and defensive tackle for the Force, in a Sun-Times article. "I wish they would have extended us the opportunity to come play at halftime of the Super Bowl. This is a kick in the teeth. They're always trying to hurt legitimate women's sports. Corporations won't even talk to us about sponsorship unless we can put 15,000 people in the stands. But if we played in our bras, our budget would be fat.''

More Wrigley night games

The city council today approved a measure allowing the Cubs to play more night games at Wrigley Field. The council also conferred landmark status on Wrigley, but with provisions that allow expansion of the bleachers section and the addition of about 200 new box seats.

Do we look fat?

Men's Fitness has named Chicago the fifth fattest U.S. city, which is an improvement over last year, when we were No. 2. We score well for athletic participation -- huzzah for softball and biking -- but flunk when it comes to nutrition, air quality, climate, commuting and access to parks.

City makes Wrigley Field landmark

The Sun-Times reports that the City Council's Landmarks Committee approves Mayor Daley's plan to landmark "historic elements" of Wrigley Field. Since the landmark designation doesn't cover the entire building, it allows the owners to start on plans to build three rows of premium-priced seats behind home plate. "Even more important, the landmark vote signals that a deal is in the works for the Cubs to play 30 night games by 2006 -- up from 18."

Force-ful fashion

Would you like something flashy to wear that shows you support a winning Chicago sports team? The Chicago Force is sportin' some stylish threads, and you can buy them.

Bears Name New Coach

The Bears named St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith as the 13th head coach in franchise history. Smith, 45, agreed to a four-year deal and will be introduced by general manager Jerry Angelo at a Thursday news conference. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

On your marks, get set, snow!

Sunday morning kicks off the 2004 Tour da Chicago, a six-stage alleycat bike race. This weekend's time trial will start in stages from the Bahai Temple in Wilmette and race to YoJimbo's Garage at 1310 N. Clybourn. Entrance is $10 for the race or $45 for the series. Register at 1461 W. Chicago at 7 a.m.

Hope springs eternal

Season tickets for the Cubs went on sale Thursday morning at 6:00. The people at the head of the line took their place at 9:00 Wednesday morning. If you didn't get a chance to purchase your tickets, fret not. Starting today, you can order season tickets by phone: (773) 404-2827. Expect to pay at least $2,000 for the tickets. The most expensive tickets in the park go for $3,300 each, but they've already been sold, dangit.

Bad News Cubs

Baseball's Hall of Fame inductions were announced this afternoon, and once again former Cub greats Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson didn't quite make it to Cooperstown. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Now that's dedication

ESPN Magazine mentions in its 2003 wrapup that Chicagoan and serious Cubs fan Bill Murray, who was in Italy filming the next Wes Anderson movie during the October baseball playoffs, had it written into his contract that he'd get a satellite feed of the Cubs.

Force Tryouts

Hey, ladies! If you think you've got what it takes to strap on 50 pounds of protective gear and fight to get a football from one end of the field to the other, then the Chicago Force wants you to try out for the team. Take your padded shoulders, your best snarl, and your proof of health insurance to the Broadway Armory (5917 N. Broadway) on Saturday. You've got a chance to work for a successful Chicago football team.

The Best Ever?

So, this college kid wrote an essay for an English class attempting to prove that the 1985 Chicago Bears were the best football team ever, with the next closest team being the 1972 Miami Dolphins. He put most of it online. More than a year later, the editor of a newspaper in Alaska reads it and writes a column defending his favorite team, the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, as best ever. Boy, team allegiances run deep.

Jauron Gone

The Bears fired head coach Dick Jauron, leaving next year's team even more up in the air than it already was. Chicagosports.com has Jauron's official statement.

Beware the shrinkage

No nudity, no wetsuits, no whining. It's the fifth annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim. Come to North Avenue Beach at noon and put all that holiday flab to good use: insulation.

Football v. Bowling on Boxing Day

Have you got Friday off and the willingness to travel to Detroit to support local college ball? The Northwestern Wildcats are in their fourth Bowl appearance in nine years, and are still looking for postseason win #1 (not counting that fluke in '49). With a 6-6 record and a seventh place finish in the Big Ten, the 'Cats earned the privilege of playing Bowling Green in the Motor City Bowl. B.G., by the way, was 10-3 this season and ranked 24th on the BCS chart. Tickets are still available.

Bearly Alive

The Bears managed to win yesterday against the Redskins despite (or because of) a couple of questionable calls. They're now one game away from .500 heading into their last game of the season (figures they'd get good after missing the playoffs). Still, that doesn't mean Jauron will keep his job.

Last Steve Bartman story ever?

The baseball that Steve Bartman didn't catch sold for $106,600 today to Harry Caray's restaurant. The restaurant owner said he plans to destroy the baseball in February.

Gay Games coming to town?

Chicago is one of two cities likely to host the 2006 Gay Games, the 20-year-old sporting event that has been previously hosted in San Fancisco, Vancouver, New York City, Amsterdam, and Sydney. Chicago and Los Angeles were originally third and fourth in the voting for the next city, but negotiations broke down with the organizers' first choice, Montreal, and second choice Atlanta took itself out of the running.

Good To Be A North Sider

The North Side Boys keep getting better: the Cubs signed Minnesota Twins reliever -- and career White Sox Killer -- LaTroy Hawkins to a three-year deal Tuesday. In much less infuriating news, the White Sox acquired solid, lovable short stop Juan Uribe from the Colorado Rockies.

Sports Wrap-up

After a dismal 4-10 start, the Bulls fired head coach Bill Cartwright today. Since Cartwright took over for Tim Floyd in 2001, the Bull's record is 51-100 -- and you thought the Bears were bad. (They won this weekend, by the way.)

In other news, the Fire lost the MLS championship to the San Jose Earthquakes 4-2.

Blazin' a Trail to Naperville

You probably know about the Chicago Fire pro soccer team, but have you heard about the Chicago Blaze? They're our local National Women's Basketball League team -- not to be confused with the WNBA -- and they're apparently moving to Naperville.

Cubs still can't win

Cubs pitcher Mark Prior came in third for the NL Cy Young award, announced today. He lost out to Dodgers closer Eric Gagne and the Giants' Jason Schmidt. He's also getting married this Saturday; I'm sure I'm not the only one a little sad about that news. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Foul back.

Just when you thought you were going to put the recent Cubs unpleasantness behind you and move on, an Oak Brook auction house claims to have the infamous foul ball from Game 6 and is getting ready to auction it off next month. I'm guessing that bidding will be coming mostly from Florida.

Ozzie! Ozzie!

Ozzie Guillen, the former White Sox shortstop, is returning to the team, this time as manager. Apparently he got the news while riding through Disneyworld in the Marlins' victory parade (he was their third base coach).

Bear Down

Don't look now, but the Bears have somehow managed to win two games in a row!

Keep Yer Hands in Da Stands!

...will be chanted throughout Wrigley in 2004. Apparently, these special jackets will be given out to the first 10 rows next season. Gapers' Block — for all your sporting news.

Save the Velodrome

After more than 40 years, the Northbrook Velodrome needs a complete resurfacing. Volunteers and fundraisers have managed to come up with half the cost, but $150,000 is still needed. This outdoor cycling track serves professional racers as well as kids and hobbyists. A golden donor has come forward who is willing to match all donations, so give, give, give!

Chicago Bike Map

You can't go wrong without one. You can't leave home without one... (if you bike that is).

Funeral Mini Golf

It's the season for spooky, which means it's time for funeral parlor mini golf! Ahlgrims Funeral Home in Palatine boasts what is probably the world's most macabre miniature golf course, nine creepy holes meandering through the basement of this active funeral home. Anyone can play, as long as there's no funeral in progress. Call 847/358-7411 for more info.

Sisyphus and Tantalus

Sisyphus has been a figure who has never ceased to fascinate us. As an image of resignation to inevitable failure, he has served as a metaphor for everything from the Greek underworld to the philosophy of French Existentialism. Tantalus' fate is no less evocative - who among us hasn't been tantalized before? As particular as our own individual torments seem, we can take comfort in the fact that dissapointment and recovering from it are something we all experience.

The Foul Ball

"Moises Alou expected to catch it. One Cubs fan in the first row near Aisle 4 got his hand on it. After that, every Cubs fan wanted to get his hands on him." For the 2 people who didn't watch the game last night (whether you're a fan or not), here's a short look at the scandal of the fan and the foul ball in the Daily Herald.

4 Highly Effective Habits:

The Christian Science Monitor comments on the mojo behind the Cubs. And those other teams are mentioned too.

Cubs fever: pray for it!

Ever ready to tackle the hard-hitting issues of the day, the Chicago Tribune presents another scorching exposé: Is it OK to pray for the Cubs? [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

SLEEPY BEAR PYJAMAS DROP GAME 1

Awww, looks like the Northside Boys in the Sleepy Bear Pyjamas dropped Game One of the NLCS to the Florida Marlins, 9-8 in 11 Innings. Game Two is scheduled for Wednesday, when ace Mark Prior will pitch against the The Fish.

Wait till...

Next Year is the increasingly less-aptly named portfolio of Christopher Schneberger, a photographer who documented the Cubs' 1998 season (the last time they made it to the play-offs).

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy cow!

And if we're the first to tell you, you don't care anyway.

Cubs Steal Game One

The Cubs won their first post-season road game since the 1945 World Series tonight, 4-2, over the Braves. Kerry Wood served up a virtuoso pitching performance to lead the Cubs, giving up only three hits to the most potent offense in the National League. He also provided the go-ahead double in the sixth inning. Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior pitch games 2 and 3, but the Braves have the most lethal late-game offense in the majors.

Stadium madness

I think it's an eyesore and looks like a landing pad for space aliens, but really, no one asked me. In any case, the Bears are playing their opener at the new Soldier field tonight. Here's a bit about the history of Soldier Field, and remember, the Bear's aren't the only franchise to play there. The Chicago Fire does too. You can check out their stadium page as well.

Manuel, Hit the Showers

It was inevitable: after the Sox choked before reaching the finish line, manager Jerry Manuel was fired today. Tony Larussa (who coached the Sox back in the '80s) is rumored to be a top candidate for the job, while there have been whispers that Dusty Baker may bring Manuel onto the Cubs management team for next season.

Hope-O-Meter

Coudal Partners has been tracking baseball fan sentiment for The Reader for the past few weeks; find this week's Hope-O-Meter on page 6 of Section 1 -- or look at previous charts here. As the Cubs hang on and the Sox falter, next week's chart should be interesting.

Chicago: MLB Kind of Town

A survey of 90 Major League players indicates Chicago is overwhelmingly the favorite spot to play road games. The restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and cleanliness impress, but it's the people who make it special. NYC comes in 2nd, trailing considerably behind us, though. "It's like New York, but clean and not as chaotic", says Oakland A's pitcher Tim Hudson. Take that, Big Apple!

Da 'Spos

As pennant fever surges, the Indianapolis Star makes an odd suggestion: MLP should move the Montreal Expos to Chicago -- they play at U.S. Cellular Field when the Sox are on the road. Meanwhile, Las Vegas bookies are worried about a Red Line World Series.

Shark Attack

Lake Michigan may be freshwater, but that doesn't mean there are no sharks here: the Chicago Sharks Australian Rules Football team wraps up their season this month with two games against the Milwaukee Bombers. This Saturday they're playing up in Milwaukee, and the season finale is 4:30pm on Sept. 20 at Waveland Field in Lincoln Park.

Cubs Win!

The Daily Gusto asks, "Will virgin Cubs fans get lucky this year?" (Only a virgin would ask such a question.)

Red Line Series?

With both the Cubs and the Sox currently in first place in their divisions, some are already whispering (on MSNBC, no less) about a cross-town World Series. In the meantime, there's a Chicago third team in first place that's not getting nearly as much attention: the Fire.

White Sox Ticket $ale

Psst! The White Sox are having a web special on tickets for the Tuesday, September 2 and Wednesday, September 3 games against the Boston Red Sox. Sale Bleacher tickets are only $10, and Upper Deck Box and Reserved tickets are $5! This special is available through August 31 and only at White Sox.com. Hmmm...pretty big of a Cubs fan to pass this little nugget of info along, I say.

A one, a two, a throooetby!

By now you have probably heard of Ozzy Osbourne's "heart warming" interpretation of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" he performed Sunday at Wrigley Field during the 7th Inning Stretch. But now, you can actually read the exact words he sang. Classic!

Wrigley Field Tours

Did you know that you can tour the friendly confines of Wrigley Field? The 90 minute tour includes the dugout, field, press box, security room. And proceeds of the tours benefit the many programs of Cubs Care. Call 773.404.2827 for more info. Tours run until September 7, 2003.

Windy City Wiffleball

Despite receiving shockingly little media coverage, Chicago's littlest league, the Windy City Wiffle Ball League soldiers on. Your next opportunities to see the powerhouses of the plastic bat will be at the Wifflehouse Invitational August 26 in Essexville, Michigan.

In Dusty We Trusty

Riders of the Red Line may have noticed this phrase on a porch near the Addison stop: In Dusty We Trusty! Now you can get the T-shirt.

Bush League Teams

You know, the Cubs and Sox aren't the only baseball teams 'round here. The minor league Kane County Cougars, Schaumburg Flyers, and Gary Southshore RailCats all put on an excellent game. The names are more interesting, too: the Cougars play the Lansing Lugnuts this weekend, while Schaumburg and Gary duke it out against the Sioux Falls Canaries and the Winnipeg Goldeyes, respectively.

Richard Dent Back with Bears

Richard Dent, star defensive end for the '85 Bears, has returned to the team -- as a defensive line coach. Nothing like bringing back a little former glory to inspire a team, right?

Elvis 5k

Elvis season, the entire month of August, is one of my favorite times of year. Shame then that I won't be able to participate in the Elvis Is Alive 5k at Diversey Harbor this Saturday. Race is late in the evening, they have a beer tent, and a prize for the race participant who has the best Elvis look. And a kids Elvis impersonator contest too! Wouldn't Junior look great in a jumpsuit?

Look, I Hit The Castle

You want a list of Chicagoland's mini-golf courses? (Say yes) You got it!

Sox Surge

Don't look now, but the Sox have come on strong since the All Star Game, climbing to within a game of division leaders Kansas City after sweeping the Royals yesterday.

Scottie Pippen Returns

Scottie Pippen returns to the Bulls line-up next year, and of course there's lots of speculation on what his presence will do for the lackluster former champions. Read about it in the Tribune, Sun-Times, Southtown, Daily Herald.
[Trib login: gapers/gapers]

All Star Game

There's this thing going on down at Sox Park tonight. It's called the All-Star Game, you might've heard of it? If you don't have tickets, don't go near the stadium with less than a couple grand -- your best bet is to find a nice big-screen TV.

Chicago Force

Unfortunately, the Sacramento Sirens whupped the padding off the Chicago Force in a 47-7 playoff game. Maybe next year.

Kiddieland & Santa's Village

Out in Melrose Park, at North and 1st Avenues, lies Kiddieland, an old-fashioned amusement park now celebrating its 75th year. Santa's Village in East Dundee isn't quite as old, but it's just as well-loved. Both parks are a refreshing change of pace from that corporate behemoth up in Gurnee. (Thanks Wendy for the tip!)

The Bears, presented by...

When Soldier Field re-opens this fall, it will retain the name Soldier Field. However, a different kind of naming right has been sold: the Bears will, for the next twelve years, be known as "Bears football presented by Bank One." It's the first "presenting partnership" in the NFL. [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Chicago Force

The Chicago Force trounced the Corvallis Pride in the first round of playoffs for the Independent Women's Football League. They'll be playing the Sirens in Sacramento on June 28th in the second round. If they win they'll be travelling to New York to play on July 12th. So, if you want to see these ladies tear it up in person, you'll have to go to the coasts, or wait till next season.

Cross-town Classic

The annual Windy City Cross-town Classic is underway. Watch the Cubs and White Sox battle it out to see who has bragging rights for the next year. (So far, it looks like the Southsiders will.)

Don't Mess with the Cubs

Testosterone ran rampant yesterday as Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Farnsworth defended himself from Cincinnati Reds pitcher Paul Wilson who lunged towards Farnsworth after a too-close-for-comfort pitch. Sure they lost 3-1, but in the scrappy, playground-style knock-down fight game, the Cubs so won. And what did Cubs manager Dusty Baker have to say of the incident? "I know we're not the club to have bad blood with because we've got some guys who can hurt you with that ball. I don't suggest too many people get in some knock-down war with us." Wilson who was ejected from the game with a bloody, scraped up nose learned that the hard way. And that's the Chicago way.

Olympia Fields US Open

The golf world has its eyes turned to Olympia Fields Country Club this week, as the U.S. Open tournament gets underway. Among the many thousands of fans expected will also be more than 400 uniformed police and security officers (and who knows how many undercover) watching the watchers.

Chicago Force

Have you been thinking how nice it would be to have a Chicago sports team enter playoffs without a single loss? Then you're in luck. The Chicago Force our Women's Pro Tackle football team (member of the Independent Women's Football League) will be playing their first playoff game on Saturday June 21st. With the average score being something like 50-0, and $10 tickets ($5 for kids) you'd be silly not to go to De La Salle Stadium and watch these women show the boys in town how to make a victory.

But if sitting in the sun and watching women tackle each other isn't your idea of fun, then maybe you'd enjoy a documentary about this history-making team. Three local filmmakers will be having the world premiere of A Day on the Force on June 20, 6 pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center. This was part of the 72 Hour Feature Project which is an international filmmaking competition where participants have 72 hours or less to complete a feature film. This film had 9 camera crews, 40 hours of footage, and four computer systems working around the clock to get this film in.